amaranthe massive addictive

To say that I’ve had an ongoing “love/hate” relationship with Amaranthe would be a far too forgiving description of my feelings towards Sweden’s very own ’90s pop-commodity-metal band’s first two albums. I even took a moment last year to openly admit that I had spent far too much time and energy hating Amaranthe, and that frankly I couldn’t cope with listening to another one of their records. I have to admit, this was partially a lie: I actually have been giving Massive Addictive more listens than I would ever have wanted to admit publicly. But after six months of listening to Massive Addictive with my Last.fm scrobbler turned off, I have to come clean: Massive Addictive is a whole new level for Amaranthe, impressive on a number of different levels.

Whether the band is nodding towards Marilyn Manson‘s superb 1990s output (“Drop Dead Cynical”) or incorporating that patented Melodifestivalen tinkly keyboard sound into their groovy songs, Massive Addictive takes the whole endeavor a step further in their quest to develop a sound entirely unique in metal. They do this by combining the brilliant modern production techniques of the post-melodeath Swedish scene with techno-stylings and dubstep. Unabashedly modern, the drums sound like machines—perfectly replaced to sound like drummer Sørenson has never touched a drum stick in the making of this record—while the bass brings up the bottom end enviably, a chameleon, blending into the background perfectly.

amaranthe2014

Furthermore, the band has continued to expand on the use of modern electronica by not only incorporating dubstep (the drop at the beginning of “Digital World” is absolutely epic), but they continue to draw on their influences—E-Type, UR Crew, Planet E—making their music an undeniably sexy combination of crunchy modern metal and enough unz-unz-unz to make anyone high enough on ecstasy to take off their pants. “Sure,” you say, “this doesn’t sound like it’s so much different than their earlier records,” but there you’d be wrong. Because what separates this record from the band’s previous material—aside from the ever-expanding bag of production tricks, and hyper-modern sounds—is that the new screamer Henrick Englund picks up his quarter of the vocal-three-way-split with the absolute professionalism of someone who knows he has huge shoes to fill. Former screamer Andreas Solveström was such an important part of the band’s sound, and Englund works hard to make sure that no one could even tell that he had left the band. And the new guy can really scream “THE GAME IS ON!” with conviction that moves even the most Angry of Metal Guys.

To top it all off, Elize Ryd and Jake E. combine to deliver a heart-wrenching ballads (“True” and “Over and Done”) in addition to their other vocal duties, and that song helps to make the whole thing feel fantastically deep. Really, the lyrics here are exemplary: a feeling of driving determination and self-realization wafts across the whole record. While they might take the occasional turn towards something that addresses a real modern issue like “Digital World,” the record is generally filled with happy, powerful, positive lyrics that reminds me of Tony Kakko’s best lyrical contributions. No defeatist realism, here. Instead, these Swedes and Danes have a pure dedication to existentialist self-determination. Even in the darkest of moments, there’s an objectivist spirit that wafts through these songs.

And I can’t help but love the slick songs—nothing longer than 3:45—and the earworms the band produces, embedded in the grooviest of chunky tracks that remind me of Sonic Syndicate, or Killswitch Engage. The combination of all these elements with undeniably catchy songs means that Massive Addictive shouldn’t have been given the miss. What do you get when you add the melodies of Max Martin, the guitar sound of late Soilwork, with uplifting music, a powerful artistic vision and the dynamic range of Skrillex? A massive addiction! Get it?!

Songs to Check: “Digital World,” “Drop Dead Cynical,” “Danger Zone”

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  • I agree. It’s a powerful collection of music. It’s the intricate philosophy of the poetic lyrics combined with the nuanced dynamic, powerful yet beautiful, musical compositions that make this album of the year.

  • Grymm

    This has successfully replaced Lacuna Coil and the mighty Savn as the female-fronted band to look out for. The embedded video is so catchy and heavy!

    • I was thinking they may have even surpassed Bestial Holocaust for the sheer gimmick-free kvltery that will allow our society to look past gender and genuinely don’t care if vocalists are female or not. Is *THAT* Important.

  • Kryopsis

    My favourite part of this post is the ‘E-Type’ tag. Anyway, legit April’s Fool.

  • tomasjacobi

    I salute your dedication to the noble tradition of April Fools day.

  • BarryLeFreak

    It would be absolutely hilarious if this became a featured review on their facebook or something :’)

    • [not a Dr]

      You are a prophet.

  • Jukka Alanen

    Does anyone have a vinyl version of this? Is it even better dynamically speaking?

  • Jeff Kent

    Fool Away, I’m smitten by Elize and enjoy their first two albums…this one not so much.

    • FutureBeyondSatan

      The chick on the right is hot, too.

  • RuySan

    I was expecting a twist at the end, but then i went “oohhh….”

    Bravo!

  • Wizeguy

    Finally! Now I can stop listening to Amaranthe’s complete discography in shameful secrecy and blast this wonderfully complex music on my bicycle. Uhm, I mean car. Expensive car.

  • El_Cuervo

    I listened to the recommended songs and nearly vomited.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Sometimes a good purge is just what one needs. Keep this on hand for such times.

  • Pahaha, you rapscallions!

  • Monsterth Goatom

    This isn’t the Baby Metal review I was looking for.

    • That’s ’cause they suck. Unlike Amaranthe!

      • Monsterth Goatom

        I don’t know. They’re an interesting novelty, like Inquisition’s recent cover of “You’re Having My Baby”.

        • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

          I took the bait and Googled it. I wish it was real :(

          • Monsterth Goatom

            I did attend an SNFU concert in the mid-eighties where they did a cover of Material Girl. Honest!

  • First Google lets you play Pacman on Google Maps, and now this! What a glorious day it is! :)

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    The only blemish on this otherwise pristine collection of top-tier masterpieces is my initial disappointment that “Danger Zone” wasn’t a Kenny Loggins cover. I hope they put out a deluxe version of this in the next 8 months so I can make it #1 for 2015.

    • This really is a shame, honestly. I thought for sure it was going to be that song. In fact, now I’m going to go and listen to that song because it’s amazing.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        After this Amaranthe song, I’m thoroughly convinced that it’s impossible to compose anything less than a masterpiece when you entitle it “Danger Zone”.

    • Wizeguy

      Although I agree, the song on this album is a deep and philosophical take on the venerable concept that is the zone of danger we all know and love. It’s so deep in fact, that I struggle to understand how one can get “high on fire”, whether in a danger zone or any other kind of zone. Guess I am just not kvlt enough.

      • We could tell you how, but you would probably end up joining Matt Pike on rehab.

    • El_Cuervo

      Having seen “Danger Zone”, I staked my hopes on a “Forever” cover too. Alas no

  • Refined-Iron Cranium

    A new screamer?? Can he scream “AND AS I OPEN MY EYES, I SEE MY SHADOW” as good as the last guy? Has Amaranthe finally found the Nexus?

    Find out on the next episode of Darude Ball Z

  • sui

    O.M.G. What did I miss?! Nice catch!

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    I’m totally serial, drop dead serial….the AmanartheBpig is real…this is no April fools you need to massively panic!!!

  • Wilhelm

    I’m 2 minutes into the song and had to shut it off, pop nu metal garbage with touches of newer In Flames/Soilwork. Note that I don’t really have a problem with pop metal (Within Temptation, Nightwish) but this is bad.

  • Tom Hardy

    I was thinking this was an April Fool’s joke for a song like that to be called remotely interesting. Maybe it isn’t a joke?

    • Yer new, eh?

      • Tom Hardy

        Sure am, yes Angry Metal Guy. Was beginning to believe it was a serious post, judging by the most recent reviews I’ve had the pleasure of reading.

        • Really? ‘Cause if you’re judging from the recent reviews I’ve written, you might notice a few contradictions in what I state to value in this record versus those ones.

          • Tom Hardy

            Ouuhh, I’ve only read a few reviews that would appear on the first page of your website. My opinion was conceived from what I observed there. Anyway, I look forward to reading your contributions. Cheerio.

  • De2013

    And check out the awesome sphere! It takes the concept of spheres to a whole new level!

  • Ralph Plug

    The debut was pretty good, new and fresh. The Nexus was a bit more refined and a better album for it, but Massive Addictive does nothing for me (and speaking as a reviewer myself, believe me, I’ve tried). Three’s a crowd, or something, I don’t know. I’m not opposed to the ultra slick Eurovision metal these guys put out, but Massive Addictive was too safe and calculated for my tastes.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    The best part about this article is that if you switch every positive adjective with a negative one, it becomes completely true!

  • GooberMan

    This guy.

  • Eddy Ferreira

    ..WHY NO SOLEFALD!?!

    • Wilhelm

      I’ve been asking for this too!

    • STFU already, honestly.

      • But.. But… WE NEED YOU ANGRY METAL WORDSMITHERY TO VALIDATE OUR METAL TASTES. HOW WILL WE KNOW IF WE LIKE A RECORD OR NOT IF YOU DON’T REVIEW EVERY RELEASE THAT IS UNDER THE SUN? CAN’T YOU SEE OUR DESPAIR?

        • I guess I shouldn’t crank about it, it’s nice that you guys are happy to read what I think. It’s just that Solefald record is terrible, but it’s also really personal and I don’t feel comfortable publicly thrashing it given how personal it is.

          • It’s okay man, we have learnt to love even your thrashings, but it is nice to know that you respect their effort that much.

            OTOH, I agree we sometimes pick way too much of the promo scab with all the stuff we want to see reviewed here.

            That being said, WHEN CAN YOU REVIEW THE NEW TOOL MATERIAL JEEZ ALREADY!!!

          • Martin Knap

            The new albums bad? that’s interesting, now i find the band even more intriguing :-)

          • Eddy Ferreira

            ..I don’t gripe about it, i was just wondering why it wasn’t reviewed since it was the first Review i ever Read here back on 2010, if it just sucks so much that it isn’t worth the bits of bytes that it is type on well i understand, But hey….there’s going to be a new SIGH Record?! Am i right?!

          • Jeff Kent

            Interesting…I think as you pointed out in your recent praise of the maturity of the AMG commenters, that we should be able to have a productive discussion about a ‘negative’ review.

          • That’s not the issue. The issue is that I think there are appropriate times to take shots at someone’s art and inappropriate times. This is an inappropriate time.

          • Jeff Kent

            fair enough

          • Angel R. Suarez

            I see thou needst an Angry Metal Tampon, Lord AMG.

          • No siree, just an Angry Metal Ion Cannon.

          • Angel R. Suarez

            Ahem… Well, I won’t say you’ve been around the block if that’s the case, but…

            Speaking of cavernous, any chance of a review of the new Minsk?

          • I just long to annihilate you from orbit is all.

          • I’m not sure we got promo of it, but if we did, I’m not the guy to review it since they play a style of music that generally puts me to sleep.

  • Bogdan Focsaneanu

    I can’t figure out if this review is a joke or not.

  • Francesco Bordoni

    Well, well played

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    I would rather pound my balls flat with a mallet than have to listen to this.
    To each his own ; )

  • solo

    Is that a sphere within a sphere within a sphere within a sphere within a sphere within a SPHERE MADE OF THE BAND LOGO, within a dual line sphere within ANOTHER BAND LOGO SPHERE… within a sphere?

    Holy shit, I’m thinking this review isn’t a joke at all

  • Why this wasn’t released in the past month? that way it would have easily clinched the top spot against all those mediocre releases and we would have been graced by the beauty that is that cover art until June at the very least when April’s ROTM is published.

  • CarvedInStone

    …This is some king of elaborate april’s fools joke, right? You can’t seriously like the shit Amaranthe produce, right? These guys are terrible! They have been terrible from the start, are terrible now and unless they completely change their sound they will always be terrible. How anyone can enjoy this is beyond comprehension for me.

    Seriously, I’m into a lot of cheesy Metal (especially when it comes to Power Metal), but this is too much even for me to enjoy it. I hope this is an april’s fools joke.

    And unless you are some kind of metal opera project like Avantasia or Ayreon why the hell would you need 3 singers?

    • Refined-Iron Cranium

      Read AMG’s reviews for the first 2 Amaranthe albums and you’ll figure it out

    • [not a Dr]

      You may legitimately need 3 singers if you are Unexpect.

  • T.A.R.

    The vinyl version of this release has been sitting at the back of the metal section in a local shop for a while now, I’ve been wondering what the hell it was. I know now. Perhaps it should be moved.

  • Dion Ka

    This is gold!

  • Tanuki

    I’m gonna assume this is amg april fools and you’ve gone drop dead cynical, but either way you’re right, I DID miss this in 2014! :D

  • krisdaschwab912

    I tried giving this a fair shake; I saw them in Finland three years ago and they were a fun band to watch. But this album simply isn’t for me.

  • Angel R. Suarez

    This album changed me. I can never go back to the way I was precisely 41 minutes earlier.

    I can never un-bansaw my ears.

  • Hróðvitnir

    This made me laugh. Then, for some reason, I actually listened to the album notwithstanding all common sense. Laugh no more, I do. Gotta find new eardrums now.

  • sir_c

    Well fuck me running AMG. What have you been drinking lately?
    Probably not enough, I’d say :-)

  • Brent Bestwick

    I’ve seen these guys live twice now and met them personally each time; I honestly expected a lot more lip syncing and 0 access to fans…but they were totally down to earth; played and sang with no autotune, and didn’t act plastic or over-produced. I think they’ve simply brought some metal elements in to pop music and made pop music a LOT better. Maybe they don’t belong on this forum or in this genre; rather the best parts of metal are infiltrating pop music through this (and some other) bands.

  • Vice-President of Hell

    First i thought i came into a another amg-like site. But second i watch the date and got it

    But, it’s not so bad pop-music (still better than modern electro-house). Worth to rotate in some electropop radio station (don’t know, what pop radio stations you have in US). I don’t listen the bands like this, but i’m too tired to be a music hater. I prefer just walk away and listen some techdeath