Amaranthe album review – Maximalism

Eclectic Swedish sextet Amaranthe continue to over-stir the pot with new album

Amaranthe album cover

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Amaranthe have consistently walked a fine line between derision and delight with their fusion of synth power metal, pop hooks and EDM sensibilities.

There’s no denying their ability to churn out infectious foot-tappers that burrow into your psyche, it’s whether they can move past the cold sterility of previous efforts and deliver on their “most diverse collection to date” claims.

Sadly, opener Maximize’s over-reliance on programmed synths is reminiscent of early 00s trance spliced with generic guitars whilst cringeworthy ‘Whoah-ohh’ refrains over repeated clap sequences on That Song sound like the bastard lovechild of Queen-meets-Rihanna. Thankfully, hellacious hook-laden 21 provides a respite from the über-polished production with its stomping riffs and industrial nuances. Amaranthe may be defined by their signature triple-lead-vocal attack, but the incessant genre-melding throughout the record prevents any form of symbiosis. Lundberg and Englund do take a backseat on emotive closer Endlessly, and this allows Elize Ryd’s infinite range to flourish. Maximalism may be a manifesto-of-sorts, but ultimately its formulaic heart over-shadows its diversity.