AMARANTHE – Manifest (2020)

AMARANTHE - Manifest (2020) full

Sweden’s AMARANTHE began in 2008 and have become an enormously popular and strong modern melodic metal band. Their previous five albums have sold over 200,000 copies in the US alone.
The band’s latest album “Manifest” to be released tomorrow should be their heaviest record to date, and at the same time the most commercial and accessible: 3-minute effective songs plenty of catchiness.

Continually (and wrongly) associated with the symphonic metal world, AMARANTHE have always taken an entirely different approach than their supposed peers.
Particularly since the pop-metal perfection of 2014’s “Massive Addictive”, they have cranked up the heaviness and crunch of the riffs, plunging ever deeper into the mesmerizing refrains of modern rock&pop, albeit modern via 30 years of bright-eyed metal.
And with three superb vocalists leading the charge — the much celebrated Elize Ryd, barbaric growler Henrik Englund Wilhemsson and, since 2017, DYNAZTY frontman Nils Molin — the band’s sixth studio album noisily restates how singular and lethally effective AMARANTHE have become.

It’s all about the enormous tunes, of course, and with Ryd and Molin delivering melodies with unnerving levels of conviction and charisma, even the most simplistic moments hit the target. You will have already heard singles “Do Or Die” (here shorn of ex-ARCH ENEMY icon ANGELA GOSSOW’s contribution, but that version appears as a bonus track), “Viral”, “Archangel” and, most gloriously, “Strong”, which features a guest appearance from BATTLE BEAST’s Noora Louhimo confirming that she is the greatest female heavy metal vocalist on the planet, while also sounding like a long-lost smash from the ’80s, twinkling synths included.

Everything here sounds futuristic, polished to a blinding gleam and purposefully much more aggressive and muscular than bands operating in this nebulous sphere generally attempt.
AMARANTHE are frequently brutal: the cheerily titled “Boom!” features some of the gnarliest riffs you will ever hear on a shiny mainstream metal release; while “Adrenaline” kicks off some riff riot, plenty of blood pump indeed.

It’s Molin’s voice, in particular, which seems to be enabling AMARANTHE to expand their remit without sacrificing any of the directness or melodic bite that has typified their catalogue to date.
Slow-burning ballad “Crystalline” provides a pointedly sumptuous backdrop for his talents. Meanwhile, Ryd has never sung better than she does throughout “Manifest”, and chief composer Olof Mörck has stepped up.
With very few exceptions, these are all among the finest songs that the Swedish band have conjured to date.

AMARANTHE’s new album is heavy as hell, but don’t be fooled, it’s melodic and catchy at the same level.
This band has an enviable skill: their songs are infectious and melodic, without losing its heavines.
Killer album.
Highly Recommended


01. Fearless
02. Make It Better
03. Scream My Name
04. Viral
05. Adrenaline
06. Strong (feat. Noora Louhimo)
07. The Game
08. Crystalline
09. Archangel
10. BOOM!
11. Wake Up And Die
12. Do Or Die

Elize Ryd – Vocals
Nils Molin – Vocals
Olof Morck – Guitars and Keyboards
Johan Andreassen – Bass
Morten Lowe Sorensen – Drums
Henrik ‘’GG6’’ Englund Wilhelmsson – Vocals



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