LIVE IN TORONTO 2013
By: Fridae Mattas
The first time I heard Swedish/Danish band Amaranthe my ears immediately took a liking to the poppy melodic male and female vocals mixed with serious growls and sick guitars. It was everything my ears could ask for in a band and since then I have kept an eye out for press releases from their publicist. These days my time is beyond limited but my memory is pretty amazing, I kept them in mind as a band I needed to see live if they were to ever hit Toronto. When I saw they were to play the Virgin Mobile Mod Club July 20th not only did I want to review the set I also wanted to do an interview but did not have any free time to even attempt to make that happen. Thanks to the fabulous folks at Live Nation, shooting the almost twenty track set was breezy.
My favorite part of Music Journalism is seeing new bands live who have some pretty fantastic tunes. High five to me for making it on time to see Amaranthe rock the Mod Club, thought I was going to arrive mid set. I reached just in time but missed the openers Kobra And The Lotus which was mucho disappointing! I was looking forward to shooting and seeing their set, but I guess you can’t have everything you want all the time.
Amaranthe formerly known as “Avalanche” was formulated in 2008 by Jake E – clean vocals and Olof Mörck – Guitars and Keys. There are a total of six members in the band one of which is a female Elize Ryd – Vocals, she has a pretty voice, soft and fluid. Next there’s growls and fry screams by Andreas Solveström – Hard vocals, Morten Løwe Sørensen rocking the Drums and Johan Andreassen on the Bass. Amaranthe has two records, the first is their self titled debut and the recent LP “The Nexus” was released in March.
They kicked off their set with a new tune “Invincible” from their latest album, the crowd went crazy once they migrated on stage. There were no barricades meaning no media pit or security and that was okay with me because no way in hell was I going to put myself in the line of fire! I had my various lenses but they are not magical. The crowd was wild but they are a “Metal” band they should be used to the crowd surfers. Jake E seemed annoyed for most of the set but there were a few normal moments. By the time they played “The Nexus” even Vox – Elize was over the stage crashers so she would take them by the hand and guide them back towards the crowd. Next time the band comes to Toronto they definitely need a pit or a higher stage. There were many people but it was not sold out, the crowd was divided themselves into three halves, front section, middle moshers and the back section trying not to get whacked by a mosher.
There are a few songs I really dig like “Amaranthine”, “Afterlife” and “!,000,000 Lightyears” a few other tunes sounded the same, I couldn’t tell them apart. Vocals were pretty good but Jake E was super pitchy during a few tunes but nonetheless my ears still like the sound of his voice it reminds me of old school hair metal bands, The only female in the Elize Ryd has a sugary sweet voice but needs to work on her breathing to hold the notes a bit longer, it’s not like she’s dancing. During the tune “Burn With Me” the harmonies sounded a little flat but they did a decent job regardless. Andreas Solveström’s growls were fantastic, you could understand every word clearly, superb diction is rare for those who fry scream but he has them on lock.
The performance was enjoyable, certain things seemed a tad rehearsed but one thing that did not seem rehearsed was Bassist Johan giving Drummer Morten a little birthday introduction asking the crowd to sing him the birthday song and they did. orten also had a killer drum solo in the set where he smashed those cans with ease. They had a few wardrobe changes and threw in a cover of Survior’s “Eye Of the Tiger”. More fans kept going on stage, one even asked for Jake to look at her friends camera and pose for a photo with her before she rejoined the crowd. It must have been irritating to have the performance interrupted so many times so I don’t blame them at all.
Next time Amaranthe hits the City I will definitely be setting up an interview and checking out their set because they did well enough for a revisitation. If you like melodic metal pop fusions then Amaranthe is for you, worth checking out. www.Amaranthe.se www.livenation.com