ABC2 – 19/03/15
Amaranthe take what they do very seriously and what they do is fucking ridiculous. Six members strong, three of which are exclusively vocalists, they mish mash europop with melodic death metal chugging riffs and occasional growls.
Their selling point is the sheer anthemic quality of every song in their arsenal. Where a lot of metal bands build up to epic widdly solos, each Amaranthe song is built around a chorus catchier than what’s at the top of the charts.
So on this night, their first ever in Scotland, the band go from dancing to headbanging in the flash of a chord change. One of three vocalists, Elize Ryd, is the clear star of the show with her distinctive and powerful voice leading the charge on tracks like ‘Trinity’ and ‘Drop Dead Cynical,’ while Jake E’s clean vocals get to shine on ‘Over and Done.’ Henrik Englund is a massive figure stomping around adding in his harsh vocals at key moments, bringing the metal in ‘Hunger’ and ‘Call Out My Name.’
Ryd is happy to pop and lock it during their catchier moments, while Englund fist bumps as much of the first few rows as possible. E never cracks a smile, but is genuinely appreciative of how much the Glaswegian crowd adore finally having the chance to see the Scandinavian mob.
‘Electroheart’ may as well be a Eurovision entry – its perfect pop chorus was made for bouncing crowds and its hard to imagine its pomp sits comfortably alongside the double kick drum assault of ‘Leave Everything Behind’ but it does and that is the formula Amaranthe have perfected.
Ballad ‘Amaranthine’ is sung predominantly by the crowd, leaving the band visually impressed and quick to reassure that, while it took them a long time to visit these shores, they will be back. Good thing too, because in a genre plagued by burly hairy guys taking themselves too seriously, Amaranthe are a breath of fresh pop-influenced air.
[Scott Wilson – @HeartofFire]