"The Nexus" (Spinefarm; 2013)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the second offering from these power metal and melodic death metal Swedes. "The Nexus" is more plentiful in its approach because it's got that hard melodic edge to it that causes you dig each track. Those who embraced their first disc will no doubt be spinning this hook-laden beast on a daily basis. The trio of vocals still stands out as the highlight and when guitarist Olof Morck heats up his fingers via his blistering solos you'll be glad you stuck around for round two.

The first track out of the gates sets the pace for the rest of disc. It's fast, furious and has plenty of soaring vocals that will have you practicing your range in the shower, the car and probably when you shouldn't. "The Nexus" has twelve tracks and if you want some bonus Amaranthe you can snag five more cuts -- there is an acoustic version of "Afterlife," "Burn With Me," and "Hunger," respectively performed, and there is also a remix of "Hunger" as well as an early track of the song "Leave Everything Behind," which is from their first disc.

Amaranthe: Elize Ryd - female vocals; Jake E. Lundberg - clean vocals, co-producer; Andreas Solveström - harsh vocals; Olof Morck - guitars and keyboards, co-producer; Johan Andreassen - bass; Morten Løwe Sørensen - drums.

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"Amaranthe" (Spinefarm; 2011)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Amaranthe are melodic death metal and power metal. They hail from Sweden. They have a trio of singers: Elize Ryd, Jake E., and Andreas Solveström (who handles the harsh vocals). This was their début disc and it set some pretty good records all over the world. The guitar on this self-titled disc is way beyond incredible. Olof Morch plays guitar, presses keys for synth and is the co-producer, and when he fires a solo out you'll have little or no time to get out of the way. Olof axe slings for a few other bands, including Nightrage.

The vocal style of Elize Ryd and Jake E. is operatic and they harmonize like the pros they are. They really carry the vocals and when Andreas comes roaring in he just shatters the whole thing into dust. The drums are monstrous and the bass keeps a killer rhythm wall coming at you from start to inevitable finish.

Each one of the songs is fast-paced and you'll be rocking out while singing along. It's infectious and fans of power metal will have a new poster to put on their wall via Amaranthe. The hits here are "Hunger" and "Amaranthe."

Amaranthe: Elize Ryd - vocals; Jake E. Lundberg - vocals; Andreas Solveström - harsh vocals; Olof Morck - guitars, keyboards, co-producer, mixing; Johan Andreassen - bass; Morten Løwe Sørensen - drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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