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Trance Metal, sometimes known as Dance Metal, is a recent metal sub-genre. It often combines uplifting electronic dance/pop melodies with the melodic sound of power metal and melodic death metal. One of the most popular acts is Amaranthe.

Electronicore (Sometimes known as Trancecore), while sharing some influences with trance metal, is still primarily metalcore. Therefore, it is included as a sub-genre under Metalcore. electronicore

- Genre biography written by Unitron.

Sub-genre collaborators (shared with Industrial Metal):

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AMARANTHE Massive Addictive Album Cover Massive Addictive
3.75 | 4 ratings
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AMARANTHE The Nexus Album Cover The Nexus
3.64 | 7 ratings
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XE-NONE Dance Metal [Rave]olution

Album · 2008 · Trance Metal
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siLLy puPPy
The trance metal world grew out of the industrial section mostly influenced by the Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Hardness) movement of the 90s that was made popular by Rammstein and as the 21st century began, many new artists were undertaking the complete fusion of electro-industrial and techno with the bombast of metal. While Rammstein started the ball rolling with their Einstürzende Neubauten meets Nine Inch Nails industrial metal heft, newer bands like Blood Stain Child and Russia’s XE-NONE crafted a fusion more dominated by the electronica side of the equation.

Having formed in Kirov, Russia in 2004, XE-NONE took the electronic sensibilities of electronic dance music with extreme metal riffing along with a few death growls. The two founding members Lexy Dance (vocals, programming) and Newman (syntthesizers, programming) cranked out a few shorter EPs before releasing their debut album DANCE METAL (RAVE)OLUTION which sounds exactly as the title suggests, namely dance floor friendly electronic grooves with heavy bombastic power chords and guitar riffs.

Overall the band exudes a rather generic dance music style with a rather generic metal bombast. What makes the band sound somewhat unique is the dual vocal attack of EvilAnn’s operatic clean vocals exchanging with the extreme metal growls and grunts of Lexy Dance. Trance metal is characterized by a fast tempo ranging between 130 and 160 BPM and XE-NONE keep a quickened pace throughout their (RAVE)OLUTION. In accordance with the definition of this sub-genre, XE-NONE keeps things melodic with pop hooks and provide a more uplifting feel than is typical of the grimier world of industrial metal.

DANCE METAL (RAVE)OLUTION is ultimately quite the boring affair. Generic dance metal programmed loops offer a never changing repetitive series of synthesized riffs and beats with the accompanying lackluster vocal effects of EvilAnn and Lexy. The pop hooks are rather blah and the album goes on way too long. EvilAnn’s operatic vocals sound completely out of place and the metal riffs are wimpy. This is really uninspiring in pretty much every possible way. This isn’t really a sub-genre that appeals to me tremendously not because it doesn’t have potential but because it’s performed in such a lackluster way. If you want good trance metal check out Infected Mushroom’s “Legend Of The Black Shawarma” but this one is a big boring blah.


Album · 2018 · Trance Metal
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Kev Rowland
It is a long time I last heard Amaranthe, and the only other album I have in my collection is their 2011 debut, but f our albums into their career, they have apparently racked up north of 118 million YouTube views, half a billion song streams, are the three-time holder of BillBoard Heatseekers Chart #1 position and possess a panoply of Gold discs for albums and singles alike. I can only think that the other releases contain far more emotion than this one, which manages to be heavy and sanitised all at the same time. They are mixing symphonic with techno, strong female vocals with death growls and male rock, and it all comes across as rather bland and clinical.

I get the impression there are some good songs in here waiting to burst out, but the album has been layered, polished and honed so that any soul is long gone, driven out from the pressure of yet another run through the mixing desk and further tweaks. Some of the songs are incredibly catchy, such as “Countdown” which has Avril Lavigne-style hit single written all over it, but I would love to hear this album with the guys just performing it from start to finish, with a sympathetic ear at the sound desk. It would be far different to something that shows promise but eventually fails under the weight of all the varnish.

METALITE Heroes in Time

Album · 2017 · Trance Metal
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What would it sound like if Amaranthe decided to ditch all their male vocals and let Elize Ryd perform all vocal lines on her own? Well, you’d probably get something that sounds a bit like Heroes in Time, the debut from Swedish melodic metal band Metalite. Obviously, the aforementioned band has become a big success over the years, taking metal in a much more accessible direction, so it makes sense that many other bands would follow suit, and Metalite is the latest such band to try their hand at a very melodic and accessible brand of melodic metal, while still maintaining enough heaviness to avoid having their music fall too far into pop territory. With the obligatory comparison out of the way, though, I must say Heroes in Time is an excellent debut, which at times feels somewhat familiar, but still, does enough to stand on its own and proves to be a worthy new contender in the melodic metal playing field.

Metalite was formed by guitarist Edwin Premberg, and his guitar work is very impressive at times, with some hard-hitting riffs and some truly fantastic melodic guitar solos. At the same time, though, despite not having a keyboardist listed in their lineup, this album has plenty of very modern sounding keys, and in fact the keys often dominate many of the tracks, giving the music a very trance-like feel at times, which is part of what makes the music so accessible and so catchy. There’s certainly a ton of digital effects used on the keys here as well, and it all sounds very good. Compared to similar bands, I’d say the music on this album maintains the catchiness you’d expect from Amaranthe, while also having strong power metal elements at times, like Temperance and Dynazty on their last couple of albums, though the songwriting never quite gets as inventive or as challenging as either of those bands can be at their best. Which isn’t to say the songs are bad, though, far from it. In fact, the songwriting is very consistent across the board, with every song being excellent and there is a decent amount of variety, though most songs are very upbeat, very melodic, simple and extremely catchy.

If you’re going to be making an album as centered around catchy vocal lines as this album is, you need to have a capable vocalist, and thankfully Emma Bensing proves herself to be very good on this album. She has a very light voice that’s very much suited to this style of music, often staying in midrange and singing very calmly in a way that allows the melodies to shine through well, though there are times where she starts pushing for higher notes and singing with more power and emotion, and those points are the highlights of the album, as she always hits every note perfectly without anything sounding forced or strained. In fact, the only advice Id give her is to maybe push herself a bit more often, as she definitely sounds more powerful on some tracks than on others, and on the songs where she sounds more fully invested, she sounds amazing.

Moving onto the songwriting, and the album gets off an excellent start right out of the gate. Opener “Afterlife” is a perfect choice for the lead single, as it’s a very fast-paced, accessible track which has just a bit of heaviness to it, while also being very melodic and having an insanely catchy and memorable chorus. Emma sounds a bit more restrained on this track than on others, but she still does a great job, especially towards the end of the song. Moving on, “Purpose of Life” is a lighter, more mid-paced track, with the keys leading the way right from the start, with a very trance-like feel, and it’s another very catchy track, with occasional bursts of speed to help make it even better. Next is “Nightmare”, another very radio friendly track, where the keys again lead the way, though it moves a very fast pace like the opening track, and is the first song where I think Emma really shines, as she pushes for higher notes during the chorus, and generally seems to be very invested in this track. The last run through the chorus is especially fantastic, and the guitar solo near the end of the track is also very impressive.

From here, many of the tracks fall into a similar pattern, being very speedy throughout, with some heavy riffs at times, that often give way to the modern sounding keys, and the band manages to strike a good balance between being accessible and catchy, while still having a slight metal edge at all times. This continues with “The Hunter”, which has some power metal elements but also has some very pop influenced vocal lines at times. Another speedier track is“Power of Metal”, which definitely could have the “of” in its name removed and still be an accurate name, though it’s a very modernized form of the genre, of course, and is another very fun and catchy track, with some great vocals. Other faster-paced tracks include “Over and Done”, which feels very familiar, especially with how the keys sound at times, though it’s yet another very fun and catchy track, with an absolutely beautiful guitar solo that stands as easily the best on the album, “The Light of Orion”, which has an amazing guitar solo as well as excellent chorus, with Emma really shining especially near the end, “Black Horse Rider”, which has some excellent melodic guitar leads as well as some heavier riffs, and is another very power metal influenced track, with an extremely fast and powerful chorus, where Emma sounds very fiery, and lastly we have “The Great Force”, which again has some familiar sounding keys, and is yet another fast-paced track with a fantastic chorus, great guitar work, and some nice modern sounding keys.

On the slower side, the title track is the most trance influenced track on the album, with the band really going into overdrive with all the keyboard effects, especially during the intro and the instrumental section in the middle. It’s a fairly slow paced, but ridiculously catchy track where Emma shows off her higher register quite nicely and does a great job during the chorus. My one criticism on this track is more of a minor nitpick, in that I think it’s kinda silly to have lyrics talking about computers in a bad way, with lines like “technology will be our fall”, all while clearly making heavy use of digital effects throughout the track, even more so than on the rest of the album. It’s just a case of the music and lyrics conflicting with each other, I think, but it definitely sounds great, so at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Lastly, we have “In the Middle of the Night”, the lone ballad on the album, which is again very keyboard drove and it serves an excellent showcase for Emma’s vocals, as her voice is very low and calm in the early parts of the track, but she gradually goes higher and sounds more emotional as the track progresses, with the final run through the chorus being absolutely stunning. There’s also an amazing, very emotional sounding guitar solo in the middle, and overall it’s an excellent track which serves as a nice change of pace during the mostly very speedy second half of the album.

Overall, Heroes in Time is an excellent debut, which continues the trend of modern melodic metal that strikes a balance between being very accessible and catchy, with a heavy use of keyboards and some very accessible vocals, while still having enough of an edge to appeal to metal fans, especially power metal fans on many of the tracks. I think there’s room for the band to maybe to push things a bit further with some more complex or more surprising songwriting, but everything that’s here works great and I definitely think Metalite is a band to watch out for. Highly recommended for any fan of melodic metal.

originally written for


Album · 2011 · Trance Metal
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Outstanding Pop-Metal with a Fatal Flaw

Take some ABBA and some Ace of Base. Put it through the metal filter. Mix in some electronica. Add a good dose of Heart. What do you get? Amaranthe's debut album. And it works – surprisingly well.

The eponymous debut album from Scandanavian band Amaranthe is an energetic, melodious foray into a distinct musical territory--that of pop-metal.

The music is highly accessible with sing-along melodies, yet is just complex enough to hold interest over repeated listenings.

Far and away the strongest element in music is the voice of Elize Ryd, who is making a big splash in the world of metal. At once soft and powerful, her emotive vocals transform the songs from unremarkable to thoroughly enjoyable. Her harmonies blend flawlessly with those of her counterpart Jake E.

The unfortunate foil to Ryd's voice is the gutteral grunting of Andreas Solveström. In my opinion, his noise tragically detracts from what is otherwise a very solid album. He even figures prominently in the power ballad Amaranthine--a gorgeous piece that's utterly demolished by his intrusion during the bridge.

Without the grunting, this album deserves at least 4.5 out of 5 stars. As it stands, however, it gets only 3.


Album · 2011 · Trance Metal
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Amaranthe is the self-titled debut album by this Swedish act. The group caught my attention due to the fact that they sounded as if they could be a bit more unique than your everyday metal band and they are that I quickly discovered, as the band mixes melodic power metal ideas with some touches of melodic death metal and some metalcore as well. So there are plenty of influences being thrown into this pot, but what comes out of it isn’t that tasty.

The band actually has not one, not two, but three full-time vocalists. One female vocalist in Elize Ryd and one clean male vocalist in Jake E Berg, both of whom have been touring with popular power metal act Kamelot as session vocalists. The third is a growler, Andy Solveström, whose delivery can sway between melodic death and metalcore, depending on how guitarist Olof Mörck is delivery the riffs at the time, though to be honest I think that what melodic death there is here it’s the smallest element of the band’s sound, making overall this something of a power metal/metalcore hybrid. To be honest while the sound of the album has its merits and enjoyable parts, more often than not it either sounds like one of two things, metal at its most commercial end, or a complete mess. The album had a promising start with Leave Everything Behind but it went all downhill from there.

That’s not to say that the band is not deserving of praise. They’ve clearly tried to deliver something a bit different here and given some honing, could well turn their sound into something a lot more solid. They have three pretty decent vocalists (though I personally find myself most enjoying Jake E Berg’s contributions here) and the instrumentation is generally praiseworthy, although I think they could easily drop the metalcore element and be none the worse for it. Olof Mörck’s lead guitar work is pretty good and he also contributes keyboards to the album, though these don’t always work so well within the sound, at times sounding really out of place such as in second track Hunger and later again in Rain. I think the problem is that the keyboards parts have a tendency to sound very techno influenced, making parts of the album sound like some sort of techno metal which, speaking personally for a moment here, is not something I go looking for in a metal album nor expected to hear.

Amaranthe overall sounds designed to appeal to the masses. The songs are lyrically commercial as is the delivery, despite the common use of Andy Solveström’s growl. Because of the growls I’d wager that metalcore fans will find something to like in Amaranthe’s debut, although the fact that there is also a female vocalist here those into female fronted metal bands may also take some enjoyment from it, though speaking as a fan of female vocals myself, I found myself decidedly bored when listening to the album in order to write this review.

Despite the clear potential, things haven’t really worked out for Amaranthe on their debut, but in their defence they have caught my attention enough that I would check out any future work they do, just to see if they can hone the good ideas in the album and iron out the bad and perhaps try to tailor their music more towards a metal crowd, because at the moment that’s the main problem, I can honestly see only a select few groups of metal fans actually finding any enjoyment in the album and one of them is certainly not power metal, which musically is one of the main ingredients of the band. As a whole Amaranthe is certainly a listenable album, but unfortunately things just don’t go beyond that, leaving it in decidedly below average territory, with what points it’s been given mostly for the skills of the three vocalists and some nice guitar ideas. Despite the extremer side to the band this is all things considered a pop metal album and even with one such as myself who listens to some of the more commercially orientated metal bands such as Within Temptation find that it leaves a rather bitter taste in my mouth.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)

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