Amaranthe - Maximalism

Amaranthe Maximalism cover
Spinefarm Records
Seriously, the Swedes fourth effort released exactly two years to the date after the somewhat balancing act that “Massive Addictive” was, just takes away almost every/any ounce of “metal” cred that the band might have left, in exchange for trying to make it big in America and specifically targeting a younger and more impressionable target group. Let’s find out, as that silly Norse, fucktard ‘d say!
Maximize” totally recycles something the band has done on its previous albums and takes a couple of cues from “pop” songs in the shape of melodies; its solo is short, feels out of place and comes off as forced. It’s only Elize Ryd that manages to “sell the track” due to her vocal prowess as she does with most of the tracks on the album.
I hope that the band has not forgotten to credit Dead or Alive’s Pete Burns for “Boomerang”, which is basically “You Spin Me Around (Like A record)” with different lyrics… L.A.Z.Y.
That Song” begins with a simple beat and the best comparison, I could thing is RiRi during the verses (due to the tuners), while the rapping about not having a dime and having only a guitar and a jacket comes across as too insincere. Seriously, this song makes Bon Jovi’s filler material sound like frigging masterpieces in comparison.
21” made me think of bad Linkin Park, Keisha and I dunno what else…
On the Rocks” mimics the beat and riff of Rob Zombies “Dragula” for a bit, with a sugar coated chorus and a more “pop” chorus… absolutely disappointing.
Limitless” begins like a ballad, only to become a powerful beat, electro-led song that sways between ballad and soft/sunrise Ibiza anthem gone rock. Really?!
Fury” again feels like a bad hardcore number, hijacked by a pop tune, but not working out as either.
Faster” is kinda acceptable, but hardly manages to rise above the homogeneity of plastic pop beats.
Break Down and Cry” is more experimental with more extreme vocals, more guitar than on most songs and some quirky futuristic keyboard lead. Not bad, but not exactly standout either.
Supersonic” introduces another dance beat, which it bastardizes with other tropes, for instance it has some pseudo symphonic pretenses while it works into a bizarre bridge that leads into a rather unexpected chorus, which mimics some well-known baroque melody. Not terribly original, but it half works “repackaged”. Only marginally better than Foivos or Bobos, chop suey – songwriting jobs...
Fireball” is also effect ridden and modern, switching between pop and beats, with more of the Amaranthe formula at work.
Endlessly” is the obligatory emotional ballad that turns power ballad halfway, complete with solo and arrangements and it showcases Elize Ryd’s range, but in all due respect I’d much rather listen to Joe Lynn Turner’s more inspired paean. It’s also the album’s conclusion, a little out of place with the rest of ultra-modern material and at odds with most of it and if I say so, the most interesting song on offer here.
Maximalism” is very repetitive and just feels like a gum that you’ve been chewing for a while and has started to lose most of its flavor. You’re soon, gonna spit it out…
This album is just like fast food… it might trick you into buying it, because the photos are glossy and photoshopped and it might even gratify you momentarily because of all the sugar and salt, but really, it will hardly cater to your hunger, but rather curb your craving, but only for a while. Disposable heroes for now, with an equally disposable and plastic album. C’mon Sweden, you’ve done much better than this, ie when you gave us Gunther! Viva la pleasure man!