Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Amaranthe - Massive Addictive (2014)

The album title could not be any more descriptive over Amaranthe's sound. Their unique blend of pop, metal and techno is almost more addictive than nicotine, which is one of the reasons to why the band has become so successful. But this particular addiction is starting to lose its touch after only 3 albums.

Because "Massive Addiction" is exactly what you would expect from this band. Catchy choruses that sticks like glue and a healthy dose of female-, male- and harsh vocals. And there is no denying that the music in the album sounds good. The band know what they are doing and they are doing it like clockwork, which kind of worries me since the song writing process seems to work like that as well. There is nothing in "Massive Addictive" that tries to separate it from its two brothers, "Amaranthe" and "The Nexus". It is like the band has a pre-made template and then just puts in a slightly alternated riff, some new lyrics, and ta da, they have a "new" song.

But the worst part of it all is that the band still has not learned how to make a well diverse album. "Massive Addictive" holds almost the exact same tempo all the way through, with the exceptions of a couple of ballads of course, and the song's structures are far too similar. The lack of variation is really smothering this album to the extent of making it unbearable.

Therefore, there are only few songs in this album that ultimately sticks to me in a positive way. The industrial "Drop Dead Cynical" has a irresistible groove that fortunately does not annoy the brains out of you, while "Digital World" somehow reminds me of the 90's, but the song has a drive that is impressive. And out of the ballads in the album it is "Over And Done" that feels the most well composed where Elize Ryd and Joacim Lundberg does a great job in creating a connection between themselves. But the most impressive song is "An Ordinary Abnormality" that takes a sweet, heavy groove that just screams Soilwork all over it, and adapt it to a Amaranthe production. Definitely the only track in "Massive Addictive" that doesn't completely feel unoriginal.

Nope, this does not work for me. After three albums of more or less the same thing, I think I need to consult a psychiatrist to get rid of this addiction. "Massive Addictive" is far from a bad album, it has some great musicianship and it is very easy to remember the tunes, but compared to Amaranthe's two previous efforts, this record is not even close to reach the same attraction. The band needs a new direction to follow, a new angle to work from. Because if the band just keeps on going like this in the next couple of albums, then the crowd will eventually abandon Amaranthe. I know I am close of doing that.

Songs worthy of recognition: Drop Dead Cynical, Digital World, An Ordinary Abnormality

Rating: 5,5/10 Trinities

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