Amaranthe is back with their newest album Manifest. This album is a little heavier and is going give fans something to sink their teeth into.
I’ve always appreciated Amaranthe’s multiple vocal approach and how the mix of their sound cuts through multiple genres. I wasn’t really sure what to expect this time around, but I knew I wanted to discover whatever it was they decided to do. With Manifest, Amaranthe has pushed the progression of their sound. In this new album fans are going to get all the things they love about heavy metal, melodic metal and death metal delivered in one plate.
I wasn’t completely convinced with Helix (2018) that Nils Molin was a fit for Amaranthe in comparison with is work with Dynazty, but that unsettled feeling has been settled with Manifest. The writing on Manifest this round has pulled Molin deeper into the sound since joining on the last album. On this album he’s had the ability to fully immerse himself and find his exact piece of the puzzle to be a complete fit to Amaranthe. His vocals are much more intense and certain where they felt a little shy on Helix against the vocals of Elize Ryd and Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson. Where Helix felt more like the vocals of 2.5 vocalists, this album has a full 3 vocalists feel where they all meet with the same force and power.
When it comes to the music on the album, there’s a notable difference. On this album the band sounds a lot less pop than on previous albums. This time around they’ve gone more melodic than what they traditionally have done which in the past has caused them to be labeled a form of pop metal. This album allows them to shift away from the pop label as many will no longer feel it applies. I for one, appreciate this shift. Being able to break away from that sound and shifting into a true melodic direction will appeal to many more listeners because the sound feels more authentic to metal. While the pop feel is not completely gone, it’s definitely less present and pours in as part of the over all blend, not being the dominant player. The shift in the sound brings heavier layers of riffs and keyboard tracks while adding more creative drum arrangements. The writing translates to tons of fun for listeners. It’s heavy on technique, complex and boils down to a cup of fill my ears with hot new metal for the listeners.
As for the vocals, I think this is one of the best albums vocally for the band thus far. The heavy growls mixed with clean and heavier melodic vocals matched to the musical arrangements have given this album a solidified sound that demands attention. I love the push and pull in the vocals and fans who want to scream or hit the high notes will have many opportunities on this album. Ryd’s vocals on this album feel more complex as she reaches high and hits incredible octave ranges while also taking her turn on gritty darker scores as well. Match that with the already enthusiastic growling vocals of Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson, this a vocal lovers album. There are even times on this album where the vocals compete with heavy guitar riffs as if the guitar takes a 4th vocalist place giving a really cool listening experience. With with all the contrasting elements, the cohesion is superb.
There is one ballad on the album with Crystalline. It’s a heavy ballad that strips down the vocals and forces vulnerability, versatility and power not only in the vocals but also the music. I am typically not a ballad fan, but if everyone did ballads like this one, I’d be a fan of them. This was the most unexpected track on the album for me and I really enjoyed the experience Amaranthe gives to the listeners with this switch up.
All in all, I was really pleased with the new album. I think it’s well done, it’s got the elements fans have loved for years while continuing to progress. It’s high energy, the vocals are spot on and the music just takes hold of the listener. Adding Jacob Hansen to the mix on the production of the album added to the magic that fills Manifest. Amaranthe did a great job with this new plate and I think fans are going to receive this one with an overwhelmingly positive response.
Genre: Heavy Melodic Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 2020-10-2
Best Tracks: BOOM!, Viral, Do Or Die, Make It Better, Crystalline