The term genre-changing gets bandied around a little too much these days, but it truly is the only way to describe Swedish outfit Amaranthe. In fact with four albums under their belt Amaranthe haven’t just changed a genre they have created their own. They take to take the best elements of power metal, metalcore and then infuse electronica in such a way that they are even a step above industrial metal. Now with their fifth album, Helix, about to be released the band have talked about the fact that the music found out encases all that Amaranthe have strived for in the past… but let’s be honest they have delivered a damn brutal album.
Now death metal purists will hate hearing me call Amaranthe but there is no other way to describe them – Helix is in your face and is a pure brutal sonic assault… all in the good way again. It simply doesn’t let up from start to finish, the opening bars of ‘The Score’ are fast-paced and it doesn’t get any slower as the album goes on.
The electronica ramps up a gear with ‘365’ which showcases the death vocals of Henrik Englund Wilhemsson but then also introduces the beauty of Elize Ryd’s feminine vocals. The Amaranthe sound though is probably best summed up with ‘Inferno’ which has brutal verses and then ropes it back in with Elize’s vocals almost sounding pop-like on the chorus.
Amaranthe do mix it up a little on Helix ‘Countdown’ is more of a traditional industrial metal sound while ‘Unified’ pulls back the electronic and reveals a more melodic feel which conjures up memories of early Within Temptation. It is clearly one of the standout tracks on the album as is ‘My Haven’ which will be loved by fans of Skillet and sees Elize’s vocals go to a whole new level.
The band are correct though when they say that their sound has evolved with Helix. Their sound does seem a lot heavier this time and the infusion of electronica works very well. ‘CG6’ captures the band’s sound like no other – it feels like a death metal band have started playing at a rave while ‘Momentum’ is just simply maniac… how any band can humanly create a song with such force is beyond me.
If you love Amaranthe already or are looking at an album with a bit of a difference then certainly give Helix a listen. Purists may disagree but this is brutal right to its heart.