AMARANTHE at Røverstaden (Oslo, Norway)
Opening Acts: THE LAST BAND – TRIOSPHERE
Friday, November 23, 2018
by Jorge Patacas
One year after their visit to South America, the Swedes Amaranthe began a European tour to promote their recently released fifth album “Helix”, after the not so well received previous effort “Maximalism” (2016), which was criticized for being too focused on the electronic elements that have always been part of their cocktail of musical styles. Many describe them as a very pop band to be categorized as metal, others describe them as a very heavy band to be considered pop, but regardless of the tastes of each and every one, the undeniable fact is that their sound is original. In their music we find Power Metal, Metalcore, Pop and Electronica as main genres, including three vocalists: Elize Ryd with a more pop-oriented voice, Nils Molin (who joined in 2017 replacing Jake E.) with the traditional Power Metal voice, and Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson is responsible for contributing the aggressive side.
The current tour led them to perform in the capital of their neighboring country, Norway, at the Røverstaden club, which also has a bar next to it, located in a very good area just a few steps away from the National Theater in Oslo.
Doors were opened a few minutes after 8:00 pm and immediately a large part of the audience went directly to the merchandising stand where there were different t-shirts, CDs, vinyls and accessories from the main band as well as the two opening bands, The Last Band and Triosphere. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to see the first ones because I was doing the interview with Johan Andreassen (bass player for Amaranthe) at that time. After the interview, I went to the concert area where the Norwegian band Triosphere were about to start their performance. This band comes from the city of Trondheim and they have been on the scene since 2004 and those who are always researching bands from all the metal subgenres have probably heard of them before, specially after the release of their second album “The Road Less Travelled” (2010), which got more promotion and distribution since it was released by the German label AFM Records. However, despite the good reviews received, for some reason they have not yet achieved the popularity or greater international attention they deserve, unfortunately. The formula of the quartet formed by Ida Haukland on bass and vocals, Marius Silver Bergesen and T.O. Byberg on guitars and choirs, and Kenneth Tårneby on drums, resides in Power Metal with many progressive elements, which highlights Haukland’s vocal skills and the good taste compositions such as “Marionette” or “The Heart’s Dominion”, the latter from his third and last studio album to date entitled “The Heart of the Matter” (2014). Being an opening act, of course their setlist was shorter than normal, but it was enough to convince the crowd with their experience and technique, leaving a very good impression to those who didn’t know them.
More than half an hour after the end of the Triosphere performance, Amaranthe took the stage with an audience that exploded as soon as the lights went out and each member hit the stage. The charismatic Elize Ryd impressed as soon as she stepped on the stage with each of her movements and her voice that complements in a perfect way with that of the other two vocalists. “Digital World”, “Dynamite”, “On The Rocks” and “365” (single from their latest album) were some of the first songs, which usually last no more than four minutes. All of them were chanted and cheered by most of the crowd, mainly those who were closer to the stage. The band really knows how to move on stage, regardless of whether they are playing at a festival or a club with a stage of relatively small dimensions such as Røverstaden. Moving from one side to the other, interacting with the audience between each song, even taking “selfies” (!) with some fans while playing, they have all the elements to entertain their fans and they do it from the beginning until the end of their show.
The guitar player Olof Mörck is one of the founders of the band, but he’s the one who stays calmer on stage at the same time, very focused in his work on the six string instrument, even more when the song requires his solos; while the three vocalists in their own way, constantly interact with the audience, a task that also performs the bass player Johan Andreassen very well. He also had his time alone with the crowd just before the encores. Making ironic jokes and playing with the audience, he managed to make them laugh before the rest of the band returned to leave the attendees euphoric with songs like “Maximize”, “Call Out My Name” and mainly the hit “The Nexus”, which was the one chosen to close their performance, leaving the chorus stuck in our minds for the rest of the night and even some days later. While it’s true that the band uses many pre-recorded tracks when it comes to electronic parts of their songs, they sound powerful, they convince and their positive energy spreads from stage to their fans, which was once again clear on this more intimate show having their fans closer when comparing to a festival where the distance between bands and fans is much greater. We also have to agree with Andreassen, who in the exclusive interview with RISE! mentioned that Nils Molin does an excellent work and it’s a perfect replacement for Jake E. who left the band in 2016 to join Cyhra, the new project of Jesper Strömblad (ex In Flames). In short, a very good performance of the Gothenburg guys that made the audience vibrate with every note.
01- Intro / The Score
02- Digital World
04- On The Rocks
06- 1.000.000 Lightyears
11- Drum Solo
16- Drop Dead Cynical
18- Call Out My Name
19- The Nexus