Swedish metal band Amaranthe brought its eclectic and varied sound to the Saint Louis area in a rare performance here on Tuesday night.
Amaranthe returned to Pop’s Nightclub hoping for a larger crowd than the last time they played Saint Louis. The previous performance, according to vocalist Elize Ryd, was hampered by a storm that kept many fans home. Well, it was storming again Tuesday, and whether that was the issue or the possibility of some could have stayed home out of some fear for safety after the Paris attacks at a concert just a few days ago, the crowd was sparse.
Numbering just a couple hundred, if that many, the crowd was a vocal and dedicated bunch. But even though there were not that many the band performed like they were in front of 5000 with a full-on tight performance of synth-metal that is synonymous with Swedish metal bands, mixed in with some death metal and pop music for a full on European-style show that one can catch only a handful of times by just a few touring groups in the area.
They are touring in support of their third album Massive Addictive. Though according to interviews the band has said there will be a new album in 2016.
The band is unique from the vast majority of bands in that it has not one, not two, but three singers. Along with Elize Ryd the band has Henrik Englund (Who joined the band a couple years ago after original vocalist Andreas Solvestrom quit), and Jake E. Lundberg. However, Lundberg has stayed home to help care for his new baby and the band is currently using Chris Adams for his replacement on this tour.
Adams filled in remarkably well and complimented ryd’s clean vocals while acting as a vivid contrast to Englund’s gritty growls. A highlight was “Over and Done” where Adam’s vocals shined along with Ryd’s dynamic range and beautiful vocals.
The rest of the band (guitarist Olof Morck, drummer Morten Lowe Sorensen and bassist Johan Andreassen) were spot on and didn’t miss a beat. With so many infectious grooves it is hard to pick a single song out as the highlight, but “Drop Dead Cynical” just grabs you by the ears and forces you to move along to the beat.
With three singers at times it seemed the stage was too small for them all as they certainly didn’t stand still. But with their vocals and harmonies complimenting each other so well in their uplifting and powerful messages I couldn’t help but wonder that if ABBA would have been a metal band is this what they would have sounded like? I would like to think so.
Butcher Babies, meanwhile, held down the supporting slot with a stellar show. The lively performance (one of several the band has had in the area this year) was a mix of everything a metalhead could want: Kick-ass metal, hot lead singers, hair whipping and stage jumps.
While the band “only” has two lead singers, Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey exude enough energy to easily make up for that minor issue.
Touring in support of their recently released Take It Like a Man CD the band (which also includes bassist Jason Klein, guitarist Henry Flury and drummer Chris Warner) plowed through a feisty and amped up 45 minute set that included six or their ten songs form the new album.
Don’t let the prettiness of the lead singers fool you. They will assault your ears with mind-blowing metal and your senses with impressive growls from Harvey and high-flying rock antics from Shepherd. Their shows are a fun mix of metal, bad-assery, and tongue-in-cheek antics.
Butcher Babies has garnered a following in the Saint Louis area with their lively shows that grab hold of your senses and don’t let go once during a set that wears me out just watching. Both bands are certainly worth a look when they return.
And if you live elsewhere the tour continues in the US until the end of the month, mainly on the west coast.
Over and Done
Leave Everything Behind
Call Out My Name
Drop Dead Cynical
Butcher Babies Setlist:
Never Go Back
Jesus Needs More Babies for His War Machine
They’re Coming to Take Me Away (Napoleon XIV cover)