Amaranthe get more sympho-techno and serious in their new album “The Catalyst”

Author Julia Suloinen - 19.1.2024

I guess, it will not be considered a dramatic exaggeration if I say that Amaranthe is a unique band, one of the most recognizable on the modern metal scene where modern is a definition of time and one of the founders and trendsetters of modern metal where modern is a definition of a genre. Over the years the major feature of their music has been something you can both headbang and dance to, and get thoughtless in between due to the meaningful lyrics. Meanwhile the steadiness and consistency of Amaranthe‘s music contrasts a bit with how mutable their line-up has been in recent years. And so the upcoming album “The Catalyst” delivers the good old Amaranthe we know and introduces a new extreme vocals of the band – Mikael Sehlin.

The album starts with a title track “The Catalyst” which prepares us for a space techno ride with almost 40-seconds long synth intro, and when guitars enter – our ride turns into a blasting wild speedy race. Catchy choruses is surely Amaranthe‘s thing, so be sure this song will stuck in your mind for a while. And this is just the beginning.

Then follow two singles “Insatiable” and “Damnation Flame”, where the first one is an ultimate party track, bouncy and energetic, and it reminds a lot of older Ama‘s song “Drop Dead Cynical”; and the second one is when the guys almost made us believe that the upcoming album would be massively symphonic that would even make Mr. Holopainen look pale for a while.

The song “Liberated” contains an unusual melody line and a great 80s techno vibe, but a surprisingly flat sound, it seems that this song was deliberately made much softer than it could be. Well, at least the guitar solo is more emphathised due to this.

We keep on going with the space metal techno in the recent single “Re Vision”, and most of all I got curious about the voice samples – I wonder if it was some band member’s voice or a computer made sample? Or AI maybe?

Another “revisiting” happened in “Interference”, where I easily recognised “Boom Vol.2” both musically and spiritually, if I may say so. Okay, such song was needed, as, lets be honest, Mike had some big shoes to fill and “Interference” is surely a great statement that Mike has all the reasons to be here.

In the middle of the album there are “Stay A Little While”, which is the cutest ballad, a bit Disney`ish even, where Elyze and Nils interact within a song and can make a stone shed a tear with their expressiveness and sincerely; and it’s fully opposite -lustful “Ecstasy” which has the best party drive on the album, I mean – try to stay still to these lushy riff and a bouncy rhythm!

And then goes “Breaking The Waves”, one of my personal favourites, it’s the impressionistic art within a song – one of the most multifaceted tracks on the album, filled with so many details. Elyze’s enchanting and gentle mermaid voice that contrasts with aggressive riffs, breathing that makes the impression of diving deep, Nils giving his highest pitch, piano solo turning into a guitar solo followed by the raging growls – all that is framed into a heavy cyber-symphonic sea storm.

“Outer Dimentions” is another single, very soft but with a very distinguished rhythmical pattern. Just like first released single “Find Life” here we hear only a clean vocals duo. Chorus harmonies are very catchy and poppy, resembling curiously with ABBA‘s “SOS”.

Fast and energetic banger “Resistance” is the finest representative of how lyricwise this album touches very important topics of struggling for what’s right, moral beacons, ability to stand together for the better future etc. Same goes with the last original song on the album “Find Life” – it’s the poppiest on the album with where a techno spiral tune going in refrain frames the powerful message of the song.

And for a dessert we have a Roxette cover “Fading Like A Flower”, which is a pure blast of positive energy. All the voices radiate massive joy and fun, finishing quite a serious album on an extremely major note.

In conclusion I’d like to say that “The Catalyst” might be Amaranthe‘s most serious record by far, being a filled with sympho-techno elements musically more than usual. While, all in all, if you know this band – this is exactly the Amaranthe you know(besides new band member, okay). If you like this band – you will get everything you like them for here.


1. The Catalyst
2. Insatiable
3. Damnation Flame
4. Liberated
5. Re-Vision
6. Interference
7. Stay a Little While
8. Ecstasy
9. Breaking the Waves
10. Outer Dimensions
11. Resistance
12. Find Life