Amaranthe – Helix album review

Helix is a smart mix of fury and finesse from revitalised melodic metallers Amaranthe

Amaranthe - Helix album cover

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Helix

Amaranthe - Helix cover

1. The Score
2. 365
3. Inferno
4. Countdown
5. Helix
6. Dream
7. GG6
8. Breakthrough Starshot
9. My Haven
10. Iconic
11. Unified
12. Momentum

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It’s long been due, but Amaranthe have finally found themselves at a crossroads. The Swedes’ previous four have all been worthy, if lacking a little in confidence, but on Helix time they’ve finally embraced all aspects of their artistic tendencies. 

So, while you get the vehement death metal fire, you also get hints of a dance beat on 365, and pop melody on Countdown. The songs are better constructed, and the vocal triplet of Elize Ryd, Nils Molin and Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson is a lot more organically choral. 

There’s also an obviously prevalent pomp edge to the keyboards and guitar, both courtesy of Olof Mörck, which allows the band to be more artistically exploratory. 

Amaranthe’s metal commitment is still clear, as you’ll hear on My Haven, Iconic and Momentum, but the passion for diversity is starting to pay dividends. 

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.