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Amaranthe - The Nexus | FESTIVALPHOTO

Amaranthe - The Nexus



If you havent heard anything by Amaranthe yet then a quick glance at a photo of the band might give the impression that this is a typical female fronted band, but nothing could be further from the truth. Amaranthe are unique in having three lead vocalists - two lead singers doing clean vocals - one male and one female, with another male singer doing the screams and growls. This gives Amaranthe a richer sound than most female fronted bands where they have a single female vocalist doing clean vocals and a male vocalist for the growls.
Musically Amaranthe are fairly unusual as their music is a blend of power metal, death metal and pop which sounds like a strange mix but it works amazingly well and the result is a very radio-friendly form of metal. Its too metal to be called pop, and its too poppy to be called metal - its one of those sounds that just doesnt fit into a nice neat genre. The only band I can think of that do anything similar are Dead by April, who actually came before Amaranthe but have been eclipsed by Amaranthe.

I'm a big fan of the first Amaranthe album, so I've been waiting eagerly for a while to hear what the second album would be like. As with the first album, it's been produced by Jacob Hansen. Talking about the new album guitarist and band co-founder Olof Morck said "The moment has come to let loose 'The Nexus' on an unsuspecting world! This time we went all the way with our futuristic dream-nightmare - a no-compromise vision steeped in deep contrast between the mechanically ultra-heavy and shimmering serene melody. 'The Nexus' is everything we dreamed about doing with our debut album; we laboured to make this offering as diverse as it is direct and catchy. and remember, no-one can be told what 'The Nexus' is - you have to hear it for yourself!"

So, how does it sound? Well the short answer is that it sounds fantastic. The album takes the sound of the first album and makes it bigger and better. Fans who like the first album are going to be more than happy with this new album.

Brief comments on a couple of tracks

Title track, 'The Nexus' is the first single from the album. In the first 3 weeks since the video was posted on youtube it's racked up over three quarters of a million views - an impressive figure. The highlight for me is the polished dual-vocal chorus, but the song really contains a bit of everything that makes Amaranthe who they are - you've got some growling vocals, clean male vocals, clean female vocals, dual clean vocals, powerful drums and guitars and light keyboards, all wrapped up in a nice fast paced song.

'Electroheart' has a techno/dance feel to it, particularly at the start, primarily down to the keyboards, but the guitars then balance this out with a rock feel, so the result is really a rock song with a techno influence. It sounds like an unusual mix and maybe one that wouldn't work, but it does work - and it works extremely well.

One thing that's noticeable with Amaranthe is the sheer pace and energy in their songs. As much as the drums, a lot of that feeling of speed comes from the keyboards. There are dozens if not hundreds of bands pairing clean female vocals with male growls, but Amaranthe stand out as different by adding that third vocalist - the clean male vocals. These really do give the vocals a really unique feel, and this straight away differentiates the band from others. The mix of musical genres is the other key thing that differentiates the band's sound, and when you add the unique 3 singer vocals to that blend of styles the result is simply superb.

Some bands struggle with their second album, but Amaranthe have taken their first album and built on it to make this second album bigger and better. The core sound is still the same but there is a bit more variety here. The production here is superb and everything just sounds clearer, louder and well, just better than before.

A superb album - come payday I'll certainly be ordering my copy.

'The Nexus' will be released in the UK on 25th March.
Other release dates are - Japan - 13th March, Sweden - 20th March, Finland - 22nd March, Germany - 22nd March, US - 26th of March.

Track listing:

1. Afterlife
2. Invincible
3. The Nexus
4. Theory of everything
5. Stardust
6. Burn with me
7. Mechanical Illusion
8. Razorblade
9. Future on hold
10. Electroheart
11. Transhuman
12. Infinity

Amaranthe are:

Andy - vocals
Jake E - vocals
Elize - vocals
Olof Mörck - guitars & keyboards
Morten Løwe Sørensen - drums
Johan Andreassen - bass

Writer: Anthony May
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