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Amaranthe - 'Maximalism' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e1/75/a8/amaranthe-maximalism-84-1482788840.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 26, 2016    
 
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I must admit it's not quite the album I expected, but that's not to say I don't like it. Far from it!

Previous album 'Massive Addicted' was a huge step forward for Amaranthe, it achieved great sales in North America thus increasing their exposure. Therefore, great things were expected of 'Maximalism' but my initial feelings are it's more of a consolidation. Some fans haven't been impressed, but there are two schools of thought; firstly, that one is compelled to expect "more of the same" if they think a band has found a winning formula, and secondly, one might expect a band to take risks in order to grow. I must admit it's not quite the album I expected, but that's not to say I don't like it. Far from it!

'Maximalism' is awash with melody... seriously awash with melody and as every music fan knows, if you can hum a tune, then it's halfway to being a memorable song – the other half is the sentiment/story expressed in the lyrics. As for taking risks, yes, you can tick that box too. At the expense of alienating their more hardcore Metal fans, they've included a track called 'That Song' that is full of Pop elements and a Queen-like 'We Will Rock You' rhythmic vibe. It's devoid of all growls from Henrik Englund Wilhemsson and Elize Ryd sounding like Rihanna in places.

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Only Olof Mörck's solo adds a Metal element. If they can get away with that, then they can get away with anything! In fact, 'Maximize', the de-facto title track, is 'Drop Dead Cynical' mark II with its infectious Euro Dance melody and Ryd's gorgeous Soprano quality intertwined with Wilhemsson's and Jake E Lundberg's combined harsh/clean singing, alongside an underlying bass and drum beat courtesy of Johan Andreassen and Morten Lowe Sorensen all completed by Mörck's ubiquitous scything guitar.

As for memorable songs, 'Boomerang' has the type of chorus that sits in your head thanks to a typical Amaranthe melody that's aligned to the underlying heavy elements. There's also the equally typical, bouncy, melodic and free-flowing 'On The Rocks', with its strong rhythm guitar and harsh vocal, and the similarly bouncy 'Supersonic'. The semi-ballad 'Limitless' is a fantastic composition by Mörck and offers up a superb vocal performance by Ryd and Lundberg. 'Fury' is fast, furious, growly and Thrashy with fast Pop beats whilst 'Endlessly' is hands down one of the greatest songs they've written! A soaring tour-de-force balladic masterpiece dripping with emotion! If ever a song can sell an album, this is it!

Carl Buxton

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