E-Type

Frozen Land – Frozen Land Review

Frozen Land – Frozen Land Review

“Imagine, if you will: I, some nameless n00b, sitting around the house. The doorbell rings—the mailman arrives! I open the door; he is clearly shaken. Through his tremors of disconcertment, I gather that an extremely angry metal man ordered him to deliver a certain package to one Nameless N00b_12. I don’t know how he got my address. I don’t care either. I snatch at the package and stare in awe. Frozen Land? An eponymous debut? An angry Viking on the cover? A band that wants to ‘bring back the 90’s golden age of Finnish power metal?’ A song called ‘Orgy of Enlightenment?’ I tremble with joy, for there is only one plausible explanation—Angry Metal Guy wants to be my friend.” No he doesn’t.

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: Amaranthe – Massive Addictive

Things You Might Have Missed 2014: 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 listening to the band’s new record far more than I’d like to admit publicly.” We messed up.

Amaranthe – The Nexus Review

Amaranthe – The Nexus Review

As a young boy I learned a really important lesson at the hands of one of my favorite bands, Europe. Sure, you laugh, but I was and it was the ’80s, so I was well within my rights to listen to Europe. In 1984, Sweden’s very own, very popular foray into glam rock released a record called Wings of Tomorrow. The album cover was simple. An armored bird of prey, in profile against a red planet cradled in a vast blanket of stars, ready to attack an unseen foe. Five-year-old me was in awe. My unconstrained imagination transported me into space with this mighty, ironclad hawk, to fight futuristic wars. This set the stage for a magical listening experience and the record is still one of my favorites. When I finally got around to The Final Countdown something important had changed: the cover was five poofy haired dudes in space. No suspension of disbelief, no imagination, just Swedish glam rockers in space. And the record? Well, it had one great song… and in retrospect a lot of stinkers. At that moment, an important seed of distrust of bands with their own pictures on the cover of a record was instilled in me. If a band isn’t creative enough to come up with a cool record cover, that band probably isn’t creative enough to write really good music.

Amaranthe – Amaranthe Review

Amaranthe – Amaranthe Review

Amaranthe has three vocalists. Just let that sink in for a while. From what I can tell, not one of those vocalists plays an instrument. Instead, they found three “attractive” people to do vocals for them. The first is a woman, who sounds like a pop singer (think E Type) and who I guarantee you cannot name a Slayer record. The second is a screamy dude. He’s got a beard (’cause he’s tough and angsty, you see) and he screams, but not too much (he must be very, very, very bored on stage). And then there’s the ‘power metal’ vocalist (Berg from Dream Evil) who’s just as over-produced as the chick vocalist and is there to get 14 year old girls all silly over his perfectly groomed dreadlocks. Behind them are several soulless session musicians (from Mercenary, Dragonland and Engel). Though, frankly, this is a band that is functionally made of session musicians, since integrity seems to be lacking.