Tag Archives: Awesome Tracks

Awesome Tracks – Amaranthe – 1.000.000 Lightyears

Amaranthe is a band I stumbled across recently. Having released their first album just two years ago, they’re a relatively new group who has developed an incredibly unique sound, a sort of heavily pop-infused mixture of melodic death metal and power metal.

If that sounds strange, well, it is, but it’s also incredibly awesome, although others disagree with me vehemently. Their slick, tailored sound has earned Amaranthe quite a bit of ire from certain corners of the metal fanatics’ kingdom, but you know my philosophy about metal haters: they need to get a life, enjoy the things they like, and stop hating the things they don’t.

So where does the name Amaranthe come from? Well apparently ‘amaranthe’ comes from the Greek ‘amarantha’ meaning unfading, and amaranth (with no ‘e’) is a type of flowering plant that produces a seed that is high in protein and is a staple in some parts of South America. The band, however, apparently chose the name Amaranthe as it had a ‘mysterious’ ring to it – that, and they had to abandon their initial choice of Avalanche due to copyright issues.

Anyway, on to this week’s song: “1.000.000 Lightyears”. (Yes, that means one million. Amaranthe is Swedish, and it’s common in most parts of Europe to use a period rather than a comma as the delimiter). There’s no official music video for the song, but the band did release a fun video of themselves performing the song in Japan mixed with footage of their trip there. As always, I’ve added my own running commentary after the video.

0:24 – The first singer is Jake E, the band’s clean male vocalist.

0:27 – That’s the band’s clean female vocalist, Elize Ryd.

0:30 – And finally, the band’s harsh vocalist, Andreas Solveström.

0:39 – Keep an eye on the bassist’s facial expressions throughout. Here, he shows off his crazy face.

0:44 – Bassist (in the middle) is not amused.

0:46 – Now he’s sporting the ‘dude bro’ face.

1:16 – Note the fan sporting the most metal of all personal accessories: the leopard print man purse.

2:29 – The guitarist, Olof Mörck, is a very underrated soloist, IMO.

2:52 – Take note: the only acceptable piece of clothing for a heavy metal fan is a black T-shirt.

3:00 – Wait – there’s an interloper. A girl in a school uniform! How did she get in?

Well, that’s it for today. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Image credit: Featured image by Cecil (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Awesome Tracks – Savatage – Hall of the Mountain King

Savatage’s “Hall of the Mountain King”, off of their album by the same name, is an awesome song, and given the song’s name, you might expect it to be based upon a contemporary fantasy tale featuring cavern-dwelling dwarves or some such. You would be wrong, however.

The song was actually inspired by a piece of orchestral music composed by Edvard Grieg, a Norwegian composer, for part of Henrik Ibsen’s 1876 play Peer Gynt, which is apparently loosely based on a Norwegian fairy tale by the name of Per Gynt. In Grieg’s musical piece, main character Peer Gynt enters the royal hall of the old Mountain King, who is surrounded by trolls, gnomes, and goblins, as well as his own family members, and the crowd erupts in anger, accusing him of bewitching the Mountain King’s daughter.

So, not a contemporary fantasy story, but close enough.

Anyway, basing a metal song on an old Norwegian play kind of makes sense for a Norwegian metal band – apparently Peer Gynt is Norway’s most famous play.

However, Savatage is an American heavy metal band, which makes the whole situation even weirder. Nonetheless, they wrote the song, and even featured the creepy old mountain king on the cover of their album.

He looks pretty good for…however old he is, I guess. He must work out.

But enough with my yammering. On to the song. As an extra bonus, I’m including running commentary of their bizarre music video. Trust me, you’ll need it.

0:15: Creepy goblin in a forest. OK.

0:50: Lead singer John Oliva sporting a nice ascot, one of the most metal of all neck accessories.

1:08: Now he decides to scare the crap out of that poor goblin. Doesn’t seem very nice.

1:47: Now he’s attacking the thing with a battle-axe? What?

2:38: Smoke, steam, or the earthly remains of spirits trapped within the lead singer?

2:46-3:01: Shit gets crazy. Lead guitarist gets seriously concerned, John Oliva totally loses his sanity, and the goblin starts doing the see no evil, etc. moves.

3:18: John Oliva is now attacking his own guitarist. This can’t end well.

3:35: Awesome guitar solo metal face!

3:51: Is it just me, or did they hire Miracle Max from The Princess Bride to step in for the Mountain King?

All kidding aside though, it’s a great song. A true metal classic.

Image credit: By glenn . (CC BY 2.0), via Flickr.