Entries in melodic (2)


Amaranthe - Why are they stuck in my head?

Honestly, I don't remember the exact moment when I discovered Amaranthe. At some point in the last year, as I was wandering around the Internet, I ran across them. At first I viewed them as an interesting new band from the Nordic part of the world that generates much of the music I love. They have the unique twist of 3 separate vocalists, a female clean lead (Elize Ryd), a male clean lead (Jake E) and a male guttural specialist (Andreas Solveström). And, they have a great melodic death metal rhythm section (Olof Mörck - guitar & keys, Johan Andreassen - bass, Morten Løwe Sørensen - drums).

So, that explains why I like them. I like heavy, melodic music and just about any metal that has some reasonable amount of pitch variation in the vocals. But that doesn't explain why they get stuck in my head so readily. I find myself whistling the melodies from their songs at the strangest times. And once I start, it's hard to make it stop.

Fortunately, I figured out why. Oddly enough, it's just like ABBA, a band I never listened to in depth and yet I still hear "Waterloo" in my head, clear as day. It always amazed me how catchy and universal ABBA's melodies are. They churned out a string of hits that bore into your head and never leave. The songs I know are all upbeat and musically motivating, and only in later years did the song themes become more introspective.

Amaranthe touches me in the same way and has the benefit of being right in the middle of my wheelhouse. The music is clearly edgier than ABBA but at the same time revels in sweeping melodies, and layered vocal harmonies that are infectious. They capture exactly what I love about heavy music - this deeply moving energy that gets your heart pumping no matter whether the lyrical message is incredibly upbeat (e.g. power metal) or immersed in death (e.g. goth metal).

If you've heard Amaranthe and love them, you know what I mean. If you haven't, be sure to check out their self-named debut album (Amaranthe). And for those of you that have heard them and found they don't do much for you, I dare you to listen to the album a couple times. See if you don't wake up in the morning with "Hunger", "1,000,000 Lightyears" or "Automatic" stuck in your head. I dare you...



Why Heavy?

Because some of us need to fight fire with fire. When we get angry or excited or frustrated, mellow, so-called calming music just exaggerates the emotion. No, it is better to meet the anger head-on with music that can rise to the challenge and go beyond. That's why Heavy.


What is Heavy?

It is music that embraces extreme emotions. It is not subtle, it is in your face. It is at home in horror movies, sports wrap-up shows, big budget action flicks and sports arenas. It is often technically challenging, whether through melodic gymnastics or up-tempo precision chugging. It hits you like a ton of lead and you love every minute of it.