Amaranthe – Manifest Review

Score7/10
GenreMelodic Metal (Pop Metal)
CountrySweden
Runtime40:20
Release Date2 October 2020
Record LabelNuclear Blast

Sweden’s melodic metal masters Amaranthe have continued to hold the pop metal standard high in their sixth album, Manifest. While I’ll never come back to half of the tracklist, the amount of sheer talent Amaranthe continues to display can’t be ignored; whether it’s the relentless, intricate grooving of drummer Morten Løwe Sørensen or the combined vocal talents of Elize Ryd, Nils Molin, or Henrik “GG6” Englund, there’s a ton to appreciate musically.

If there’s one thing that can be said about Manifest, it’s that it’s exactly consistent with what you’d expect an Amaranthe album to be: bright, hopeful choruses in between thunderous rhythm section syncopation, digital synths, and colossal growls. It leans further to the pop side, (like everything since The Nexus) but it contains enough powerful riffs and chugging that it still sits comfortably under the metal banner, although not under the power metal banner, as so many others seem to be convinced.

In all honesty, I was ready to call it quits on this album after my first listen. It seemed like they gave up on everything else and settled into being a metalcore version of late 2000s pop groups. However, being that I’ve been a huge fan of these guys for years (and also that I first spun it on my shitty Bluetooth speaker at work), I decided to give it another spin, for old time’s sake. And, fortunately, that led to a few more listens.

Sure, my initial reaction still holds up for the trainwrecks that are ‘Stronger’ (does someone wanna tell me how you can fuck up a song that features both Elize Ryd AND Noora Louhimo?), ‘Die and Wake Up’, ‘Make It Better’, and the poorly-named ‘Adrenaline’, but Manifest‘s best tracks live up to the band’s full capabilities.

For starters, ‘Fearless’ kicks the album off with all the shiny-yet-ferocious badassery Amaranthe is known for. The following tracks rotate between crap and good-but-not-great (and a full-out Dynazty song in ‘Do Or Die’) until the second half, where we get to some seriously killer tracks in ‘The Game’, ‘Archangel’, and my personal favourite, ‘Boom!’. Seriously, if you lost all hope in Amaranthe because of MAXIMALISM or Helix, ‘Boom!’ is probably the completely wrong song to recommend, but it’s such a shitshow that I have to. It’s the obligatory GG6 feature on the album, so you can expect some of the best growling/rapping metal has to offer, along with shameless self-awareness.

As a sidenote, I can’t say for sure (because I haven’t been bothered to check), but I would imagine that the differing factor between the tracks I like and dislike is how involved Elize Ryd is in the songwriting. In Helix, new male vocalist Nils Molin (Dynazty) didn’t get a proper introduction (in my own not-so-humble opinion), and there was way too much “Oo, look at me!” from Elize. Not that I think she’s a bad vocalist by any stretch; she’s actually one of my favourites. However, it seems like the band is all the better when she takes a step back from the songwriting and allows the music to be more of a team effort.

All in all, Manifest is about the best an album like this could be. It’s easily the best Amaranthe album since 2013 and it blows pretty much every other band in the space (think Metalite (or maybe protect yourself by NEVER thinking about Metalite), Scarleth, CyHra, In Flames kinda) out of the water.

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Melodic Metal: Amaranthe Sign Onto Nuclear Blast

Swedish modern metal heavyweights Amaranthe have signed onto Nuclear Blast. The band was formerly with Spinefarm Records, under which they released all five of their previous albums.

Amaranthe’s Olof Mörck:
“It feels amazing to unveil our cooperation with the giants at Nuclear Blast! Ever since we held our shiny new Nuclear Blast CD’s in our teenage hands back in the mid-90’s, they have been at the forefront of bringing the best of the best to the metal scene, and to have them as partners is a dream come true! They are not only massively experienced in the metal scene, but also wonderful people and it has been a pleasure getting to know them. We are already nailing down great plans for the future, and things are looking brighter and stronger for Amaranthe than ever! Keep your eyes open for our next leap forward together in the near future!”

Marcus Hammer, Managing Director of Nuclear Blast:
“We’re more than happy to welcome Amaranthe and Kult Management to the Nuclear Blast family. I’ve already been following the group for a while as they were touring with some of their new label mates. Being both great musicians and humans, that have a clear vision and are supported by an experienced team in the back, it was a no-brainer to try to win this outstanding band for our roster. Now we’re stoked to be the new partner at their side pursuing one goal: adding a successful next chapter to their already shiny career. The future looks bright for both, Amaranthe and Nuclear Blast.”

Amaranthe will release their next album some time in 2020. While no information has been released yet, the band has stated that they’ll begin recording after they finish their next round of tours, which include of a headline tour of Scandinavia followed by a tour with Sabaton and Apocalypta as support.

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Turilli / Lione Rhapsody Confirm New Album Date

Luca Turilli and Fabio Lione have confirmed the date, tracklist, and title for their upcoming (and highly anticipated) Rhapsody project. The album will be called Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution) and will feature ten superb symphonic metal songs, along with an eleventh bonus track for those who grab a special edition.

Turilli / Lione Rhapsody Zero Gravity Trailer (Nuclear Blast)

Zero Gravity will feature numerous guest musicians, including Amaranthe’s Elize Ryd, Avantasia’s Sascha Paeth, and Mark Basile of DGM, among others. It’s set to release on 28 June under Nuclear Blast.

01. Phoenix Rising
02. D.N.A. (Demon And Angel) [feat. Elize Ryd]
03. Zero Gravity
04. Fast Radio Burst
05. Decoding the Multiverse
06. Origins
07. Multidimensional
08. Amata Immortale
09. I Am [feat. Mark Basile]
10. Arcanum (Da Vinci’s Enigma)
11. Oceano [feat. Sascha Paeth & Arne Wiegand] BONUS TRACK

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