Amaranthe - The Nexus
Spinefarm Records
12 songs (41:00)
Release year: 2013
Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Rob
Major event

Amaranthe have been described as a melodic death metal band on occasion but let's not kid ourselves. This is power metal that is deeply rooted in pop and dance music. The idea of it seems awful indeed, but it has to be said that no other band I have ever heard has really nailed this sound quite as well as they do. They are the only metal band I can think of that openly and solely derive their inspiration from pop music. We're talking about taking a chorus that blatantly sounds like it's from an early Britney Spears hit and building a fast, intense metal song around it.

The weird thing is that, in terms of what this band is going for, these songs are extremely good. The vocal attack is comprised of a screamer and two clean singers, male and female, all who are separate entities from the guitarist, bassist and drummer. They all come together in a way that's reminiscent of the most cheesy Broadway musical and it's simply glorious. The instrumentalists lay down the concrete with frantic tempos and an abundance of solos. Flawless production brings the soundscape to a very trippy level, making everything robotically tight, but the dynamic songwriting ensures that nothing ever sounds dead or lacking in energy.

However, there are too many moments on The Nexus where the guitars get a little too quiet, the rhythm too bouncy, and the death vocals non-existent. The last album was a great mix of crushing metal madness with fantastically plastic pop choruses, but they've definitely become more apologetic here by exploring the pop side of things way more than the metal side. Razorblade is a hilariously shameless slab of sweetness, and Electroheart has an odd K-pop thing going on. This is all well and good but the album is missing more metal-orientated ideas. I must also point out that the middle ballad Burn With Me is totally woeful and misses the mark completely.

There is absolutely no meaningful depth to be found here, musically or otherwise, but this is a perfectly acceptable state of affairs when the very album cover and title are nonsensically corny Matrix references. What we're dealing with is hyper, balls-to-the-wall, fireworks and birthday-cakes Red Bull metal. It's melodic, catchy, fast and fun. Its shallowness is what makes it great. What they do, they do well, and I recommend The Nexus just so you can hear this fine dirt to believe it.

Killing Songs :
Afterlife, Invincible, Mechanical Illusion, Razorblade
Rob quoted 82 / 100
Chris quoted 91 / 100
Other albums by Amaranthe that we have reviewed:
Amaranthe - Maximalism reviewed by Ben and quoted 72 / 100
Amaranthe - Massive Addictive reviewed by Joel and quoted 86 / 100
Amaranthe - Amaranthe reviewed by Chris and quoted 90 / 100
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There are 9 replies to this review. Last one on Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:17 pm
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