Amaranthe, Live in London

Scandic power metallers strip away the sheen

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With a Hollywood metal aesthetic that’s becoming almost as synonymous with the Finnish metal scene as trolls and warpaint, Helsinki glam crew SANTA CRUZ [7] might be dismissed as just another Reckless Love or Hanoi Rocks, but tonight the youthful rockers can do no wrong.

With only two albums under their belt, they still manage to command the stage and the crowd with ease. It helps that they have My Remedy’s stadium-ready chorus and the delectable licks of Wasted & Wounded in their repertoire.

When it comes to catchy songs, however, there’s still no one better than Scandinavian symph-metallers AMARANTHE [8]. Their performance is a far cry from the sterility of their latest record, the impressive but overly polished Massive Addictive. With the sheen of production stripped away, songs like the euphoric, danceable Hunger, the infectious Serendipity and the album’s crushing title track are injected with warmth.

That’s largely thanks to the dynamic between the audience and the band’s three vocalists, particularly Elize Ryd, a powerhouse singer who can kick almost as high as she can scream. When the trio’s contrasting vocal styles converge, it’s Elize who shines the brightest, effortlessly hitting some insane notes. As a live act, Amaranthe are both massive and addictive./o:p