Amaranthe Enters The Nexus And A Massive Collision Occurs With North America
Amaranthe and Butcher Babies set Toronto’s Phoenix ablaze
For the second time in 2015, Toronto got to play host to one of Europe’s heaviest hitting metal bands on the scene right now – Amaranthe. This past May, they hit the Opera House and played to a sold-out crowd, and this time, on November 8, they burned up the Phoenix along with America’s death metal sweethearts, the Butcher Babies.
We met with the band before the show in their Tour Bus parked out front of the venue, and had a cozy little chat with them about their recent and continuing success.
“It’s so amazing to be playing here (Toronto) again so soon after our last tour, and it’s actually our third tour now for the Massive Addictive record in one year, and we really love touring North America,” said Olof Mörck, the band’s founding guitarist. The band had just played a show in Montreal as well the night before. “It was just amazing,” Mörck reiterated. “Every band says it’s great on tour when being interviewed, but it’s going fucking awesome!”
“We were joking the day before about how we feel in the right time zone here, and we don’t feel the same way when we’re back in Sweden, or Europe even. We kind of feel like we belong here,” front woman said Elize Ryd, before the show while getting ready to hit the stage.
European metal sensations come in all shapes and sizes, and every variation you can think of. Amaranthe, the Swedish/Danish powerhouse has been redefining the genre of symphonic metal over the last few years since their inception.
In their short career, they’ve already released 3 best-selling studio albums, have toured the world, and now have treated fans to a B-Sides and rarities album titled Breaking Point B-Sides (2011-2015.) Four albums in just as many years, that’s an ambitious and triumphant ascent.
“We’re just getting started, and now we’re getting more into concepts for writing. We’re definitely looking at getting another album recorded next year,” said Mörck.
Usually I’m all for quality over quantity. Release a great album that’s truly been crafted, not just made, over the span of a few years. Amaranthe, however, has managed to balance both quality and quantity, while rocking live shows constantly. I had to ask Ryd how she keeps it up night after night, tour after tour.
“Drugs…” Mörck interjected. We all laughed. “No! we don’t support drugs,” replied Ryd punching him lightly in the shoulder. “I think we live off a drug called adrenaline, which is the best drug ever. I’m sometimes super tired before a show, but as soon as I step on stage, I see the audience and I kind of.. ‘Waaahooooo,’” she exclaimed with the giddiest of genuine smiles. “But it’s very hard sometimes to keep it up, if I’m not energized by that.”
The Butcher Babies hit the stage first around 9 p.m., and stating that they warmed up the crowd for the headliners would be a grand understatement. These girls lit the place up and made it hot, really hot.
Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd man the front lines of Butcher Babies, and they put out to the max at every performance. I’d even go as far to say that even though most of the crowd was there to see Amaranthe, Butcher Babies stole the show and may have been more memorable at the night’s end.
Although Amaranthe also put on an amazing performance, no true criticisms displayed here, they just make better music in my headphones than live. They have many layers to their music that just aren’t conveyed as well on stage. They were nonetheless awesome to see as a collective unit, although they had a replacement singer for Henrik Englund Wilhemsson who joined the band in 2013 replacing Andreas Solveström.
Funny enough, I feel the total opposite about the Butcher Babies, personally, their studio recordings don’t come close to comparing to their live show, and their true talent shines on stage, in vinyl, rather than on vinyl.
Harvey and Shepherd are a couple of babes, sure. But it was their energy and tenacity on stage that set them apart. If you missed them this time around, don’t worry, they’re returning to the Phoenix for another show Sunday March 6, 2016, this time perhaps more appropriately with none other than black metal legends Cradle of Filth.