Amaranthe @ Martini Ranch
It takes a lot for a heavy metal band to beat out Lady Gaga on the music charts — especially in a place like Japan, where people love the pop artist's catchy dance music and outrageous outfits. (You know, since the Japanese need a reason to sport cartoonish, questionable, and/or furry costumes.) But Swedish/Danish metal band Amaranthe accomplished exactly that. Maybe it's the band's three singers, including a woman whose powerful voice alternates between harsh screams and soaring melodies. Amaranthe's brand of pop-infused melodic death metal immediately appeals to a broad spectrum of fans, geographically and demographically. The band's influences are vast and surprising, from 30 Seconds to Mars to Soilwork, from Freddie Mercury to Kiss. It's all melded together into metalcore-style breakdowns, synths, and guitar riffs. Amaranthe's sophomore album, March's Nexus, shows more of the band's influences, and its first single, "Burn with Me," hit number one on the iTunes Metal Chart on the day it was released. The six-piece act is known for its voracious, energetic live show, which means its performance at an intimate venue like Martini Ranch isn't to be missed.
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