Vocalist Joacim "Jake E." Lundberg and guitarist/keyboardist Olof Mörck had performed in various bands in their native Sweden when they joined forces to form a new melodic power metal band in 2008. This band, originally called Avalanche before changing the name to Amaranthe in 2009, was to be different in that it would alternate three types of lead vocalists. Amaranthe's present line-up consists of Lundberg on clean male vocals, Elize Ryd on clean female vocals, Henrik Englund on unclean vocals, Mörck on guitars and keyboards, Johan Andreassen on bass and Morten Løwe Sørensen on drums . Following three studio albums, Amaranthe released a compilation, Breaking Point - B-Sides 2011-2015, on October 30, 2015, consisting of b-sides and bonus tracks.
Amaranthe headlined tonight at the Marlin Room at Webster Hall as part of a 22-date North American Massive Collision Tour. Lundberg bowed out of the tour due to a family emergency, however, and Chris Adam Hedman Sörbye, the lead singer of Swedish rock band Smash into Pieces, replaced Lundberg on clean male vocals. The three vocalists frequently sang on the same songs, with the Ryd and Adam dual-gender clean-singing effect contrasting sharply with Englund's death growls. The band opened with newer songs, "Digital World" and "Trinity" before digging into the catalog with "Hunger" from 2011's debut album. Ryd then expressed approval of the intimate setting of the small venue; indeed, she had already reached out and touched many fans during the opening songs. While most of the music was radio metal for the masses, the band periodically hammered some crunching power chords, which were quickly offset by floating synth lines and Ryd's soaring vocals for an epic sound. The mix constantly hovered between light and dark, dwelling mostly on the sunny side. Perhaps more than any band before it, Amaranthe mastered the unlikely combination of commercial power metal with elements of underground metal in doses small enough to challenge without going over the edge. Marketed to the right audience, Amaranthe could be huge.
Visit Amaranthe at www.amaranthe.se.