Rating:
N/A
Amaranthe - The Nexus
22 March 2013


01. Afterlife
02. Invincible
03. The Nexus
04. Theory Of Everything
05. Stardust
06. Burn With Me
07. Mechanical Illusion
08. Razorblade
09. Future On Hold
10. Electroheart
11. Transhuman
12. Infinity
13. Afterlife [Acoustic version] [Digipak bonus]
14. Leave Everything Behind [Early version] [Digipak bonus]
15. Burn With Me [acoustic version] [Japanese bonus]
16. Hunger [acoustic version] [Japanese bonus]
17. Hunger [remix version] [iTunes bonus]


Whether The Nexus is any good heavily depends on what you think of Amaranthe in general and how you approach the album itself, what you value in your music, etc. If you take different approaches to the album, you are going to reach different and somewhat contradicting conclusions. In a way, this album is an oxymoron.

Allow me to elaborate a bit and explore a couple of aspects of this creation. First off, the music. Amaranthe mixes together power metal and metalcore in a highly easygoing fashion. The songs are structurally extremely catchy, predictable, and simple. Same can also be said about the lyrics. Technically, Amaranthe wades more in a no-brainer league than anywhere else. Dig deeper and you'll hit rock bottom in an instant. If you ever required a background with few accompanying mental calories, this is your deal. Seriously.

Secondly, the vocals. Amaranthe have three vocalists in their line up: male screams, clean male vocals, and clean female vocals. I'll be honest, as far as multiple vocalists are concerned, I'm a sucker. I love more than one voice in a song. It settles in a sort of a dialogue and adds different shades to the music. Whether it's strictly necessary is another matter, but I dig the variety offered by the combination. However, if we're to talk about the quality of the vocals, it'll bring us to the next facet.

So, thirdly, the production. The Nexus is, like its predecessor, a heavily over-produced album. It's loud, compressed, thick of sound, and whatever else you might think of when someone labels such sound as modern. Now, the vocals: those also have a rather artificial flavour to them. It doesn't necessarily mean that any of the singers are bad, or that the result is awful. However, it does mean that I have no clue whether any of them can stand their ground properly in a live setting. To some extent I'm also bothered by the artificial electronic overtones that can be heard. So, production-wise this album has a strict factory feeling to it.

Lastly, those of you who liked the début album Amaranthe are probably not going to be disappointed. It's more of the same, so to say, a continuation and non-evolution. So, having more goodness like the début is good news for you. However, all written above, you already know. Or, if you don't, it's high time you face it. Amaranthe is the epitome of pop music in metal. It's a time-out for the insiders, and, possibly, a reasonable gateway for the outsiders as it appears to be heavy and harsh while retaining upbeat simplicity. Anyway, as I said, it's an oxymoron, and I'll honestly take this one over a cheesy flower metal album any day.


Band profile: Amaranthe
Album: The Nexus


 



Written on 23.04.2013 by
Ivor
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
More reviews by Ivor ››



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ManiacBlasphemer - 23.04.2013 at 16:01  
I've seen Amaranthe live a year ago, I'll see them this year as well, and I wasn't disappointed by their live performance. All 3 vocalists do their job well, especially Elize, she is by far, one of the best female vocalists out there. As for this album, it is also the epitome of guilty pleasure. It is so catchy and addictive, it is unresistable, same with the debut album. I might not enjoy the pop music outside of metal, but if this is considered as the epitome of pop music in metal, then I really like it and I have no qualms with it. Also, I ain't the kind that gets all ashamed with stuff like "dude, you listen to black metal yet you also like Amaranthe!?", tastes are tastes and I have my own guilty pleasures as well. This one and also BSCs Epsilon. Metal or not, they're extremely addictive and catchy, worth bombarding your neighbours with some noise.
Ivor - 23.04.2013 at 17:02  
Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 23.04.2013 at 16:01

I've seen Amaranthe live a year ago, I'll see them this year as well, and I wasn't disappointed by their live performance. All 3 vocalists do their job well, especially Elize, she is by far, one of the best female vocalists out there. As for this album, it is also the epitome of guilty pleasure. It is so catchy and addictive, it is unresistable, same with the debut album. I might not enjoy the pop music outside of metal, but if this is considered as the epitome of pop music in metal, then I really like it and I have no qualms with it. Also, I ain't the kind that gets all ashamed with stuff like "dude, you listen to black metal yet you also like Amaranthe!?", tastes are tastes and I have my own guilty pleasures as well. This one and also BSCs Epsilon. Metal or not, they're extremely addictive and catchy, worth bombarding your neighbours with some noise.

Please people, have a look. A prime specimen of the target audience for this album. No offense, dude. It's just that your explanation paints a picture of you that exactly fits the template I had in mind while writing the review. Cheers, man!

I.
Neroese - 23.04.2013 at 17:14  
Amaranthe..pretty pop'py.
PocketMetal - 23.04.2013 at 17:32  
I don't like the screams , I mean the guitar riffs are enough to make this metal ... those harsh vocals really annoy me . ( so overused ! ) but other than that their music is really catchy and fun to listen , I love how ridiculously poppy the chorus of Electroheart is
Dark†SymphonY - 23.04.2013 at 17:54  
All the comments above are basically my thoughts on the album too. Not much more to add.
Rulatore - 23.04.2013 at 18:43  
Man, I don't know why, but at first I thought that ManiacBlasphemer was Marcel.

I'll try this one later
silenius - 23.04.2013 at 19:33  
Pure poop, and no i didnt misspell pop, its poop, pure and simple poop.
Valentin B - 23.04.2013 at 19:36  
This would classify as "Corsetcore"
DeepBlueSea - 23.04.2013 at 22:21  
I love their new album and their live performance is great. I saw them on the 9th april and they kicked - ass!
Susan - 23.04.2013 at 23:59  
I agree: it's a great album if you like the style, yet there's not much growth from their debut.

I can hear some subtle new directions they tried, but mostly it's Debut Part 2. Which, in this case, totally worked for them! Perhaps it's 1 notch down since it lacks some of the magic that the debut had, simply by virtue of being the debut, but otherwise it's more well-performed, kick ass tunes.

Overall, I like. We all need guilty pleasures
dismaleuphony - 24.04.2013 at 02:52  
Just like the debut for sure, which means I almost like it... and then the harsh vocals come in and ruin any chance of that happening. If only they could just have Elize doing the vocals, ahh well But hey, they seem to have success as they are, so more power to them.
musclassia - 24.04.2013 at 14:36  
Haven't heard the debut, bar one song which really didn't impress me, but I did quite like this on the guilty pleasure front. It's nowhere near Epsilon, which tbh I've reached the point where I think it's so good at what it does it's not even a guilty pleasure any more, but it's still moderately enjoyable - around a 7.
Fat & Sassy! - 25.04.2013 at 05:12  
Written by silenius on 23.04.2013 at 19:33

Pure poop, and no i didnt misspell pop, its poop, pure and simple poop.


FUCKIN' LOL

Written by dismaleuphony on 24.04.2013 at 02:52

Just like the debut for sure, which means I almost like it... and then the harsh vocals come in and ruin any chance of that happening.


Agreed 100%. Interestingly enough, it seems the most "metal" element of this music is the lamest and least tolerable thing about it.

Although this album *is* enjoyable, it doesn't seem to venture too much in the metal OR pop realm of things. Almost like they are playing it safe on all fronts, nothing too adventurous. The metal elements are ok. The electronic elements are ok. The vocals are ok. A bunch of generic sounds mixed together to make a little bit less generic listen.
Aeterna - 25.04.2013 at 12:14  
This is one of those bands that's always going to be frowned upon. It's pretty much what has been described. I think I could not have worded it any better myself.
However I can say that Elize (The female vocalist) has got quite a good throat on her in her live performance and therefore it's quite a shame that they don't use her more as there's quite some potential there.
AngelofDeth - 25.04.2013 at 21:30  
Ive been seeing this band around alot lately. I suppose its about time I give them a listen, although Im not sure I'll like them. Well written review btw!

EDIT: I think I just got a new guilty pleasure...
adace1 - 25.04.2013 at 22:50  
Not ashamed to say I love this album. I'll take this over mainstream pop any day.
Sophist - 25.04.2013 at 23:09  
I don't even know what the hell did I just listen to, I guess the closest thing would be this:
but with another vocal, more distortion and more production.
BlackHalo83 - 26.04.2013 at 00:55  
I gave this band a chance, but now I realize this isn't my taste in metal. But this band is talented so I'd give them that.
Ziom - 26.04.2013 at 14:25  
Written by ManiacBlasphemer on 23.04.2013 at 16:01

I've seen Amaranthe live a year ago, I'll see them this year as well, and I wasn't disappointed by their live performance. All 3 vocalists do their job well, especially Elize, she is by far, one of the best female vocalists out there. As for this album, it is also the epitome of guilty pleasure. It is so catchy and addictive, it is unresistable, same with the debut album. I might not enjoy the pop music outside of metal, but if this is considered as the epitome of pop music in metal, then I really like it and I have no qualms with it. Also, I ain't the kind that gets all ashamed with stuff like "dude, you listen to black metal yet you also like Amaranthe!?", tastes are tastes and I have my own guilty pleasures as well. This one and also BSCs Epsilon. Metal or not, they're extremely addictive and catchy, worth bombarding your neighbours with some noise.


It seems it's a Lacuna Coil butcherer this one. They don't need to be Tarja's right away. But they're good, perfect english, catchy and strong. Good, good. Sometimes such simple music is a good relief from something heavier.
MojoGG - 29.04.2013 at 01:55  
Thanks for showing me that band. The nexus is my new faviourite song and the rest of the album is also pretty good
Shmyt - 25.05.2013 at 08:23  
I really love the band, I found it because of Kamelot's almost constant collaboration with Elize and sure it doesn't change much at all (personally I take about a minute to figure out when its a new track) but they seem to be playing it safe from the start so I'll keep supporting them and listening despite the pop-ish nature. The benefit of three vocalists seem a bit lacking in this album but in their self-titled album it was beyond stunning so maybe next album is where they really start to go deeper and become more than just 'that one sorta metal band that's catchy as all fuck'. Run-on sentences aside, I fucking love Amaranthe
Fritillaria - 19.10.2013 at 10:31  
Quote:
Amaranthe is the epitome of pop music in metal.


very true, I agree wholeheartedly.
Kennoth - 26.04.2014 at 19:36  
I'm not surprised that you didn't have the balls to actually rate the album. It's an okay review itself, but doesn't really reveal much about the reviewer's opinion.
Ivor - 27.04.2014 at 21:22  
Written by Kennoth on 26.04.2014 at 19:36

I'm not surprised that you didn't have the balls to actually rate the album. It's an okay review itself, but doesn't really reveal much about the reviewer's opinion.

Having balls hasn't got anything to do with rating. I haven't been rating albums for years because you (as in my dear readers in general) don't read or pay attention to what is being written when it has a number attached. You bicker about why it's so high, or so low and why you would rate it different. Ultimately it's pointless and directs your attention where it needn't be focused. You can agree or disagree with this philosophy but I'm not inclined to change my way. Tried it, didn't like where it went, so now all you get is text and no number for the foreseeable future if not forever.

I.
Kennoth - 01.05.2014 at 04:32  
Written by Ivor on 27.04.2014 at 21:22

Written by Kennoth on 26.04.2014 at 19:36

I'm not surprised that you didn't have the balls to actually rate the album. It's an okay review itself, but doesn't really reveal much about the reviewer's opinion.

Having balls hasn't got anything to do with rating. I haven't been rating albums for years because you (as in my dear readers in general) don't read or pay attention to what is being written when it has a number attached. You bicker about why it's so high, or so low and why you would rate it different. Ultimately it's pointless and directs your attention where it needn't be focused. You can agree or disagree with this philosophy but I'm not inclined to change my way. Tried it, didn't like where it went, so now all you get is text and no number for the foreseeable future if not forever.

I.


Okay, fair enough, but I'll never be a fan about the "no rating" rating, defeats the purpose imo. It's inevitable that some people will bicker about it, but the lack of rating seems to me like the "path of least resistance", I think the number reflects the reviewer's opinion much more accurately, because written reviews can be sometimes vague.

I made my "no balls" remark, because this is the sort of band that most traditional metalheads would probably bitch about, given that their kid of music is very accessible so to speak. But since you make every review like that, I guess it's not relevant.
Ivor - 01.05.2014 at 10:20  
Written by Kennoth on 01.05.2014 at 04:32

Okay, fair enough, but I'll never be a fan about the "no rating" rating, defeats the purpose imo. It's inevitable that some people will bicker about it, but the lack of rating seems to me like the "path of least resistance", I think the number reflects the reviewer's opinion much more accurately, because written reviews can be sometimes vague.

I made my "no balls" remark, because this is the sort of band that most traditional metalheads would probably bitch about, given that their kid of music is very accessible so to speak. But since you make every review like that, I guess it's not relevant.

You do understand that rating an album, especially one like this is a two-edged weapon at the very least. Given what this band is and does, however I'd rate the album, the end result would just cause problems. You may refer to it as a topic for discussion but it's basically nonsense. Whether rating it emotionally or objectively, it's still not going to reflect the album, the situation with this band, and the attitude towards it. The review says all you need to know about the album as well as my opinion, especially the last paragraph. The thing is, I can like the album (in fact in this particular case I do) and still write fairly objectively why it is not a good album. Learn to read, and, if necessary, learn to read between the lines and get used to written pieces leaving you with ambivalent emotions and the need to actually form your own opinion. That's kind of how life is, it is never straightforward, and this album is a pretty good example.

I.
Uldreth - 01.05.2014 at 11:17  
Written by Kennoth on 01.05.2014 at 04:32



Okay, fair enough, but I'll never be a fan about the "no rating" rating, defeats the purpose imo. It's inevitable that some people will bicker about it, but the lack of rating seems to me like the "path of least resistance", I think the number reflects the reviewer's opinion much more accurately, because written reviews can be sometimes vague.

I made my "no balls" remark, because this is the sort of band that most traditional metalheads would probably bitch about, given that their kid of music is very accessible so to speak. But since you make every review like that, I guess it's not relevant.

Although Ivor just explained his point pretty well, I will also make an argument for the sake of arguing.

Liking something is not a binary or a numerical thing really. A good example would be Troy giving Augury's second album a relatively low score despite, basically praising the hell out of it, because he found the album as a whole to lack flow so much it hurts listening to the album as a whole a lot. But he said as individual songs the album is really really good.

I don't agree with Troy as I really like that album but a simple number would never have revealed that. Just like here if this was just a number, purists would be all like "WTF MAN DIS ISNT TRVE METHULZ Y U GIEV HIG RATINGZZZ", not like they don't do that anyways.

If a review is good and this one is good, it reveals the properties of the album well, as well as the reviewer's standing towards it. The rating is just a distraction and invites all those people who are like "WTF Y U GIEV OPETH 8.9 ONLY IT IZ CLEARLY A 11 RATING ALBUM" and stuff like this.

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