"The Nexus"

By Dark Starr

This is a pretty strong album. It isn’t a great album, though. For one thing there are some modern production bits here that feel a bit over the top at times. Additionally, too much of the music sounds quite similar. Still, this kind of European metal works really well. Each song taken by itself works pretty well. It’s just when you try to spin the whole thing start to finish that it gets a little monolithic.

It starts out well with "Afterlife", where the contrast between the melodic clean singing and the more aggressive extreme style is well done. Following cut "Invincible" gets the blood flowing even more, with a molten blast of modern extremity. What's appealing about the tune, though, is the catchiness of the vocal hook. That's an Amaranthe trademark. The title track dials things down just a big with more of a progressive feel. After these three opening cuts, though, things just begin to get bogged down in a formulaic style. Most of the later tracks are produced and performed well, but just seem to be interchangeable. A notable exception is the semi-ballad "Burn With Me", which is one of the best cuts here because of the variety.

A promising album here, but showing that Amaranthe still has plenty of room for their sound to expand.