Amaranthe – The Nexus (2013) – Review

Wow! We found ourselves some nexus here. Right? The Rasmus on steroids with a taste of Britney Spears! And this featuring a female front and two more male singers – one clear voice, the other growls. It is kind of a vocalist overkill of sorts. And all that voodoo is delivered without the feathers that you would have gotten from Lauri and his gang! One could describe it as total Pop and Disco Metal, fully out of control, but with a few solos made by Olof Mörck. Those got my attention straight away by the way – not bad at all.

In addition, some of the growls would make Arch Enemy proud. And mind you, I do not accuse the latter to produce Pop Metal, but the growls resemble the style. So, there are two souls in my chest.

And then there is Jake E, the second male vocalist, sounding like Bon Jovi in his old days at times and then again like George Michael during his heyday. Goodness me! Elize Ryd of course again takes center stage on this one and rightly so. Without her stellar voice, Amaranthe would not exist.

The 2013 pottage The Nexus that Amaranthe slowly cooked over their own electro-pop fire could be pretty good. Were it just not so laden with different poppy elements. So that it immediately starts to go sour again. Energy infused alright, but full of .. what .. pop and more pop. But the album also features a full complement of metal that is alluring in a geeky kind of way. And all of this – as mentioned above – with a taste of Arch Enemy or more Alissa White-Gluz, the energetic front tiger the latter band features (and a good job she does there).

I hate to love Amartanthe‘s style or love to hate it, whichever way you wanna turn it. But I guess it will turn out more towards HATE than love. The point is, if I want to listen to Britney, then this is what I do. And here I have some mix between George Michael and some sort of Britney-style-gone-metal tune that drives me nuts.

The Nexus itself is almost too sleek for its own good  sometimes as well. No crunchy hard edges, no riffs to drive me to tears or get me out of my chair. And all tracks timed to 3-4 minute slots, never missing a beat. This is of course very commercially viable. But it does serve the listener with some sort of tasteless pea soup that is just no fun to eat. There are no slow rock ballads neither – and metal bands just do the BEST rock ballads, folks. 

Now, considering that Amaranthe have developed their own style, all of that is still relatively good. And they actually do produce high speed electro-pop metal, club ready and thrown straight out into the world. What a great concept! Their music can be played directly in today’s party world without any change whatsoever. But let’s face it: All this is a little wild, but not in the wild sense, more in the weird department. 

In comparison, just go ahead and play some Insomnium in a club at 2 am when people are full of chemical substances of all sorts. Ain’t going to work! Of course all depending on the audience. But Amaranthe‘s style works that way. You can play their tune straight from the discs of some DJane in some loud and boisterous joint. 

As to the tracks, you almost drown in all of this electronic fastness. So much so that you almost forget it should be metal too. So, apart from The Nexus and perhaps the Power Metal style song Afterlife at the very beginning of the record, there is nothing much there. And again, the album loses creativity halfway down the tracks, which is a real pity. The lyrics, by the way, are almost all embarrassingly bad. I had to mention it, even if I usually do not comment much on the texts employed.

So, here we have music for the masses, fast and rapid, at times actually pretty good with some pockets of excellence. With interchangeable lyrics that could go anywhere you want. The Nexus actually sounds like one of these hamburger joints that produce the same friggin’ menu day in and day out. You know what you get and it is good and comforting. Because .. you know what you get. And it is not really good, but not really bad neither. If however you are out there looking for something really exciting and be surprised, this is not the place to go. And unfortunately this did not get any better in the follow-up with Massive Addictive neither. I think I have a depression. 

*****

Record Rating: 4/10 | Label: Spinefarm Records | Web: Official Site

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