Pop tinged metal with a hint of black. Amaranthe have delivered an album of their unique metal full of upbeat positivity. Not many bands can or do what these guys do, and Manifest showcases some of their finest work to date.
Power Metal, melodic death metal, dance rock what ever you want to call it. Amaranthe have made that particular brand of metal their own. With ‘Manifest’ the band bring the vibe of last album ‘Helix’ but make it heavier and louder.
Starting the album with fast paced track ‘Fearless’, the band are sounding confident and refreshed, willing to show what all their hard work has got them. The vocalist trio really come alive on the chorus of ‘Fearless’ and as fans of the band know, this is where Amaranthe shine bright. Huge stadium sized powerful choruses.
The slow things down for next track ‘Make It Better’. But only slightly and the crushing guitars of ‘Make It Better’ really gets the head nodding. It’s songs like this that expect by the band. Strong choruses, big riffing, and some Amaranthe typical synth-effects.
How they control the space between the three vocalist is what wows on this album. They all have space to add to the songs and the overall atmosphere. No one steals the show individually, but the combination of all three is really something special.
‘Scream My Name’ has some of the best vocal performances on the album and you can see what having three vocalist help towards Amaranthe’s sound. Vocalist Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson is sounding fierce in the verse.
Lead single ‘Viral’ is a fist pumping epic metal and a standout track from the album with some great drumming from Morten Løwe Sørensen and the death metal tinged breakdown shows off the production on this album. Sounds bloody amazing cranked up.
‘Strong’ featuring Battle Beast’s Noora Louhimo, is another standout moment. Superb vocal performances between the two ladies some well controlled guitars bringing the metal and Sørensen keeping everything thumping along. The momentum is carried on with the epic metal synths on ‘The Game’, thundering out the speakers.
Tracks like ‘The Game’, ‘Adrenaline’, ‘Archangel’ and ‘Die and Wake’ up are going to sound huge when brought to the stage with the power synths and melodic breaks.
The band bring it right back down again with ‘Crystalline’. No point having the voices and musicans in the band if you don’t lend them to creating a slow emotive track like ‘Crystalline’ You can really hear the songwriting skill from this band and Elize Ryd vocals are on fire. A stirring ballad about separated lovers with strings from Apocalyptica’s Perttu Kivilaakso.
‘BOOM!’ Is full on metal and is where Wilhelmsson shines with the growled rap on the verses. The band make the chorus pure Amaranthe but the verses are all his.
Die and Wake up broods and simmers with the clean vocalists taking the great performance award this time. The same can be said for album closer Do Or Die. Saving one of the best for last the track flies along and the band have never sounding better. This isn’t the track they released back in February featuring Angela Gossow, but a different version with Wilhelmsson taking over her vocal duties. Still a cracking catchy track.
The guys have good reason to be proud of this effort. Superb production gives them a great sounding album which nods to the 80s hair metal production style, likes of Def Leppard etc. This has allowed the songwriting to really shine, with the band sounding heavy and sonically huge but with nothing hiding in the mix or muddied down.
Don’t expect any surprises or anything new. Thats not what being a fan of Amaranthe gets you. What it does get you is a great sounding album featuring fantastic performances full of powerful stadium sized metal with a black tinge.
Check out track Strong feat Noora Louhimo, below.
Pick up a copy of the album here