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Thursday, 14 March 2013

Reviews: Amaranthe, Adrenaline Mob, Lost Society

Amaranthe: The Nexus (Spinefarm)

Swedes Amaranthe have finally released their second album and again they have brought together melodic death metal, power metal and also huge doses of European electro pop to create a unique soundscape. The band is the brainchild of guitarist/keyboardists Olaf Morck, who brings the riffs and solos as well as the big electronics with some dubstep influences on opener Afterlife. The power of the band lays with their three vocalists; the saccharine pop voice of Elise Ryd who has collaborated with Kamelot, the hard rock styling’s of Jake E and the harsh barks of Andreas Solvestrom, this vocal trifecta separate the band from others trying to mix the metal/pop ideals, like I said the guitars are great as are the bass and drums but it’s the keys that make this band as on their own they would be more at home in trance club than on a metal record, but mixed with the traditional metal instruments it brings to mind a poppier more upbeat Rammstein style of industrial metal. This is another part of Amaranthes appeal they are very uplifting to listen to every song is full off poppy major keys and shout along choruses, see the title track (which features another very theatrical video) the pace is relentless with every song coming out of the speakers at 100 miles an hour in a wall of sound. Until the obligatory ballad of Burn With Me which features just Jake and Elize and is followed by Mechanical Illusion that has the kick drums and harsh vocals of the Gothenburg scene. People may see the obvious Nightwish influences (as well as some Kamelot ones) with the female vocals and power metal delivery (even the name is based on a Nightwish song) however Amaranthe have managed create their own niche by mashing up genres and creating a very uplifting and spirited follow up to their debut. 8/10

Adrenaline Mob: Coverta (Self Released)

This is a covers EP from metal supergroup Adrenaline Mob. The EP features some riffed up covers of rock classics, things kick off with High Wire originally by Badlands and it is very good cover full of hard rocking guitars and some funk bass from new bassist ex-Disturbed man John Moyer. Next is the first of three songs originally sung by the legendary Ronnie James Dio; this one is the freight train-like riff of Stand Up And Shout, the others are the Rainbow standard Kill The King and the final one is Mob Rules (which was the first song the band ever released and their namesake). There are some odd choices with Mike Portnoy's thumping percussion driving an adrenaline (no pun intended) fuelled version of The Doors Break On Through as well as Van Halen's Romeo's Delight which is the perfect showcase for guitar virtuoso Mike Orlando (and features a few choice guitar solos thrown in the middle). Heart's Barracuda is also an interesting, but excellent choice with that awesome riff propelling along at a hell of a pace and Russell Allen's vocals matching those of Ann Wilson. This is a nice throwaway stopgap EP that lets this virtuoso band show off their chops by paying homage to their heroes while avoiding resorting to covers of their day jobs. 7/10

Lost Society: Fast Loud Death (Nuclear Blast)

With an album title called Fast Loud Death Lost Society can only be a thrash band and when the opening track NWL kicks in you think that this could be classic Testament album. Lost Society come from Finland and after winning a global battle of the bands they have released their debut album and it has all the hallmarks of classic 1980's Bay Area Thrash, the band sound very similar to the aforementioned Testament, mixed with Anthrax and even a bit of Exodus thrown in. They play at a level that is far more professional than their years suggest (the average age of the band is 19) and shred with such tenacity that you can't help be impressed and very bloody jealous. This is strong album with some short, sharp blasts of light speed riffing, jackhammer drumming and some snarled vocals from Samy Elbana which add a little bit of a modern touch to proceedings. However the rest of the album is pure high top wearing thrash fury with tracks like the unbelievably fast Kill (All Those Who Oppose Me) and the blitzkrieg of the title track Lost Society have crafted an excellent thrash album that will stand up to anything from the era with its ballsy, hard partying ethos. The perfect album for anyone that loves running around in circles at festivals and drinking lots of beer! Pure Finnish, Thrash, fury! 9/10

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