When Swedish metal band Amaranthe released its fourth full-length album, “Maximalism,” last fall, some metal fans balked at the band’s increasingly pop-infused sound, said bassist Johan Andreassen in a phone interview.“It’s so funny. Metal people are often extremely open-minded in a lot of (ways). But when it comes to how to perform or play, or how metal is supposed to be sounding, a lot of people are very fundamental,” he said, while on a pit stop in Montana as the band traveled to a gig in Calgary, Alberta. “(They are) sort of afraid of discovering new things.”
Yet Andreassen said he and the band are not fazed by this kind of criticism because they don’t believe in sticking to boundaries when it comes to music.
“There’s only two kinds of music: good or bad music,” he said.Headlining a North American tour in support of “Maximalism,” Amaranthe will bring its show to Fort Wayne 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Hub Entertainment Center, 5629 Saint Joe Road. The band is supported by fellow metal acts Failure Anthem, Citizen Zero, Cypher 16 and Smash Into Pieces.
Amaranthe was known for having three distinct lead vocalists until last month when one of the three, Joacim “Jake E.” Lundberg, officially quit the band. Lundberg had previously announced he was taking a break from touring with the band last November, after which he was replaced in live shows by Smash Into Pieces vocalist Chris Adams.
Lundberg, along with co-vocalist Elize Ryd, brought a standard rock and pop singing style to Amaranthe. Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson, the third vocalist, was notable for his harsh screams.
Lundberg, who was a founding member of Amaranthe, gave an interview last month to the heavy metal-themed website “BraveWords.” In the interview he seemed to suggest his departure was partly based on the fact that he also disapproved of the band’s more melodic, poppier sound.
“When we started working on the ‘Maximalism’ album, I found that it wasn’t the Amaranthe I had helped create at the start. It wasn’t my vision at all and I realized that I had to be true to myself,” he said to interviewer Carl Begai.
Andreassen seemed confused as to why Lunderberg would complain about the band’s sound when he had the ability to influence it while still in the band.
“In my opinion, (Lundberg had) his fullest right to effect the songwriting and direction of the songs,” he said.
Andreassen also said he thinks Lundberg's decision to leave was primarily motivated by a different reason.
“I also know (Lundenberg) had a lot of other stuff, a lot of projects, like acting, producing, managing and his own solo project,” he said. “So, I think that a lot of the big reason that he left was because he wanted to focus on all his other stuff.”
Formed in 2007, Amaranthe released the self-titled debut album in 2011 and its second album, “The Nexus,” in 2013. Both charted well in Europe. The band’s third album, “Massive Addiction” (2014), was its first to hit the top spot on the U.S. Billboard Heatseekers Album Chart. It also featured the hit single, “Drop Dead Cynical,” which received “massive airplay all around the world,” according to the band’s official website.
“Maximalism” also hit No. 1 on the U.S Billboard Heatseekers Album Chart after its release in 2016, according to Billboard’s website.
See the band
Amaranthe: Maximalism Tour featuring Failure Anthem, Citizen Zero, Cypher 16 and Smash Into Pieces
WHAT: Swedish metal band Amaranthe and their support acts will perform.
WHERE: The Hub Entertainment Center, 5629 Saint Joe Road
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.), Friday night
COST: $20. Tickets available at www.thehublive.com
MORE INFO: All ages show