ALBUM REVIEW: Amaranthe – Helix

Release Date: October 18th 2018
Label: Spinefarm Records
Website: www.amaranthe.se
Facebook: www.facebook.com/amarantheband
Twitter: www.twitter.com/amaranthemetal

Rating:

Combining the use of electronics into music started off in the 70s and 80s when the first electronic keyboards were introduced into progressive bands. The leaps and bounds that have occurred in technology since then have meant that it’s possible to use multiple keyboards, laptops and pads to create a whole soundscape behind a central core of instruments. Amaranthe now introduce their own combination of these technologies on their latest album, ‘Helix’.

‘The Score’ starts off with a dance track theme before using higher pitched synthesis and mixture of pads to create a futuristic theme. The juxtaposition is then set off with a set of thundering guitars and organic sounding drums. Mixing the two genres together is interplayed between some straight up metal sections and symphonic pads that sink into the fore and background which give sections of the track a different focus rather than a continuous central norm.

Both ‘365’ and the record’s titular track introduce synths that would be akin to being on a dub-step track, but its presence doesn’t relent on producing impact by using straight up metal breakdowns that are offset against breathing spaces for the guitar riffs to jump back in on.

‘Dream’, ‘GG6’, and ‘Breakthrough Starshot’ revert back to a more traditional metal standard using more pounding rhythms, with the guitars and drums taking over the central theme. The vocals then concentrate on a more aggressive tone to give variety between the tracks throughout the album.

The speed and interchanges with the various instruments and vocals ensure that the entertainment factor is at an optimum, and there’s never a feeling of anything getting repetitive or stale. The only overriding factor is that ‘Helix’ is extremely light on drama and the more aggressive styling associated with alternative music that could widen the context and variety further.