Courtesy: Spinefarm/Universal Music Group
Euro/Industrial metal act Amaranthe released its latest full length studio effort this week. Massive Additctive, the band’s third album is as many years is one that will impress audiences in its own right regardless of their familiarity with the band. Anyone that is a fan of Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil and the ilk will enjoy this record from start to finish. The combination of the band’s bombastic, old school shredding and solos, precision drumming, and the vocal talents of the band’s co-vocalists make this a record that every member of the Metal Nation worldwide should hear at least once. The songs’ lyrical content is just as important as their musical sides, too. All things considered, the combination of each song’s music and lyrics makes Massive Addictive one of the best of the underground rock and metal community this year.
Audiences that are familiar with the sound established by Amaranthe on its first two records will appreciate that said sound is just as prevalent on this record. What makes this latest full length effort worth the listen regardless of one’s familiarity with the band is the introduction of more and varied electronic elements. The album’s mix of keyboards, sampling and other electronic elements show a certain amount of growth from the band this time out. That is evident right off the top in the album’s high-energy opener ‘Dynamite.’ This aptly titled song is a fitting opener for Massive Addictive as it launches the album with the furiousness and energy of a keg full of dynamite. Yes, that was a cheesy cliché. But hey, it works, right? The song opens explosively with that electronic/keyboard mix alongside the solid guitar work of Olof Morck. The influence of other Gothenburg bands such as In Flames and Soilwork in Morck’s performance. The juxtaposition of Elize’s clean vocals to the screams of co-vocalist Henrik add even more intensity to the song. The song’s lyrical content matches its energy quite well. The vocalist pair Light the fuse/See the sign/Unbalanced heart/I’m in my prime/Get out of here while there is still time/I’m reaching overload/I’m going right on top/While you abide my dynamite.” The message here is pretty clear. This is someone holding in a lot and getting ready to burst. If that’s not proof enough, then consider the song’s second verse, in which Henrik screams, “No excuse/Break the bonds/A gasp of air/My will is strong/Get out of here/My mind is futile/I’m just a statuette/Without a timer set/While I apply my dynamite.” This is someone that has a lot of pent up frustrations, it would seem. And the song’s energy seems to present that message, too when set alongside such lyrical content. If that interpretation is correct, then such combination makes this song an even more powerful opener for the band’s new album. That’s because everybody has reached that breaking point and ready to blow. Having a song such as this to which people can relate could serve to help diffuse that proverbial dynamite lit inside them.
‘Dynamite’ is a strong starter for Amaranthe on its new album. It’s just one of so many examples of why audiences new and old alike will enjoy this record. Another example of why audiences will enjoy this record is the album’s latest single ‘Drop Dead Cynical.’ This song comes across as the polar opposite of sorts from the album’s opener with Elize singing, “I need attention/Feed my addiction/I want the action/The satisfaction/You have to feed me/Worse that I inquire/So my discord someday takes me higher.” While it comes across metaphorically, the message seems relatively clear here. If this critic’s interpretation is right, that line alone describes the type of person that is full of himself or herself. That same person has nothing to spread except for negativity. Henrik’s response to this declaration is a powerful retort. He screams in response, “I hope to thrill you that expectations rise/I want to bring you/So that you can compromise/I’m coming at you like a killer now/So it’s the truth/You are drop dead cynical.” That is a pretty strong response. Everybody has met someone like the subject of this song. There may be people even now that know someone like that. If so, this song is a great way to deal with said person(s) without screaming at them or worse. To that extent, it makes for another great positive to this record.
Massive Addictive’s opening tracks make for a solid first impression from Amaranthe on the band’s latest album. As impressive as those two songs prove to be, the album’s title track proves to be one of its best. On a side note, the song’s musical side actually bears a slit resemblance to the chorus of Imagine Dragons’ hit single ‘Radioactive.” The song’s lyrical content aside, what really makes this song such a hit is its musical side. The bombastic, old school style guitar solo is there alongside Morten’s drumming drive the song. Elize’s hypnotic vocals and Henrik’s own vocal assault are not to be discounted here, either. Lyrically, it is certain to create some discussion especially taking into account the song’s infectious chorus. Elize sings in the song’s chorus, “Massive addictive/And suddenly I’m greatly affected/Like burning fire inside/My cyanide/Scared of losing my mind/Massive addictive/I’m totally completely afflicted/As I inspire the lie like a lullaby/Crawling around in my mind.” On the surface one would think that the song makes no bones as to its lyrical topic. It sounds like it is being taken from the standpoint of someone fighting addiction. Elize singing “Suddenly I’m greatly affected/Like burning fire inside/My cyanide” sounds like what someone might feel in getting that high from whatever drug. “Scared of losing my mind…I’m totally completely afflicted” sounds like the psychological and emotional effect of said high. Again, this could be a completely incorrect interpretation of this song. If it is indeed incorrect, it would definitely be wonderful to hear the story behind the song. The very fact that it could garner so much discussion is itself reason that audiences will enjoy this song. The addition of the song’s soaring musical side makes it even more enjoyable and proves why this is perhaps the best of the album’s songs overall.
The songs noted here each make Massive Addictive enjoyable in its own way. As enjoyable as they are, the album’s other songs not noted here should not be discounted. At no one point does Massive Addictive fail listeners. Every one of the album’s dozen total tracks makes this album enjoyable in its own way. That is something difficult to say about most albums today regardless of genre. So for Amaranthe to have crafted an album that shines from start to finish shows that this album is just as enjoyable as anything released by the band’s bigger-named counterparts across Europe. That being the case, Massive Addictive proves in the end to be an album that every member of the Metal Nation worldwide should hear and an album that is one of the best in the underground metal community this year.
Amaranthe is currently wrapping up the North American leg of its tour in support of Massive Addictive. The band’s audiences overseas will soon enough get to experience the songs from this album live. They will even get to pick up the band’s new album at the band’s upcoming tour dates. In the meantime, the band’s North American audiences can pick up Massive Addictive in stores now. Audiences can check out the band’s current tour schedule and keep up with its latest updates now online at:
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