Review by: John Dixon
Photography By: Cassandra Ference
(TRR) Amidst a sea of red lights in front of a packed house at the Baltimore Soundstage, a little-known but hard-hitting band known as Amaranthe made their entrance to a screaming ovation on these final days of the band’s first (and hopefully not only) North American tour promoting their new album, Maximalism.
To say the band is little known applies only here in the States, though. The band was recently nominated in the Swedish Grammy Awards, known as the Grammis, for Best Hardrock/Metal of the Year 2016– and with good reason, because they take the best of both worlds and combine them together to produce a sound that some have dubbed “metalcore” that will make any rock fan throw horns in a cold minute.
Amaranthe kicked off the show with the title track to their new album, “Maximize” – and the music kept getting better. Lead singers Elize Ryd and Jake E. teamed up with the powerful screams of Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson to send the crowd into a frenzy as the band went from one song to the next with a near-perfect flow. Elize did slow things down a bit with her solo performance of new song “Endlessly”, which is almost guaranteed to make you stick a lighter up in the air. Which the crowd probably would have if they could. A quick retro speed up with Amaranthe’s previous hits “The Nexus” and “Amaranthine” (one of my personal favorites) provided the perfect backdrop to the band’s last song, “Call Out My Name.”
Or wait… was that really the last song?
Not this time. As the band said good night and left the stage, not a soul moved toward the doors – rather, a rising crescendo of “ONE MORE SONG” by the raucous crowd brought the band back on stage for an absolutely epic four-song encore capped off by the in-your-face metalcore smash “Drop Dead Cynical.” And even then, the band would of course never leave without their trademark selfie with the crowd, which the band does every single time they perform.
Amaranthe is published on Spinefarm Records, and you should definitely check out director Patric Ulleaus’ Amaranthe music videos on YouTube. This writer hopes that the band will make a return to the States soon, and you can bet money I’ll be there to check them out.
Additional photos from the show can be found below: