Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amorphis-The Beginning of Times (2011)

Today I am looking at an album that I gave a lukewarm reception to immediately upon its release.  This album is the latest by Finnish band Amorphis. 

Amorphis formed in 1990 and has since slowly changed sound style.  I was a big fan of the band from their previous releases, "Eclipse" and "Skyforger".  When I first heard back in 2011 that Amorphis would be releasing a new album, I was excited.  After I heard the first track released my excitement was dimmed.  I still have not purchased their latest record, "The Beginning of Times," but decided today that I would give it the closer look it deserves.

Often compared to Opeth, Amorphis plays strongly melodic metal leaning to the progressive end of the spectrum.  The sound is chunky and somewhat rooted in Finnish folklore, with driving lead guitars dueling ahead of the heavy riffing.  This style is indicative of much of Amorphis' latest work.  What really defines this band, however, is the vocal work of Tomi Joutsen.  Joutsen performs all of the band's vocals, flawlessly shifting from uplifting clean singing to guttural roars.  Few metal vocalists can pull off this feat as well as Joutsen. 

The two songs I have heard from "The Beginning of Times" contrast.  You I Need focuses on more somber, reflective material, whereas My Enemy starts off with deep growls before shifting into the glorious cleans.  Both songs are progressive and memorably melodic.  This is a disc I may add to my ever-growing list of albums to purchase.  It somehow slipped through the cracks in 2011, but Amorphis is still perhaps one of the best metal bands to ever originate from Finland, and this is a country that churns out high numbers of metal bands per capita

If you are into metal with progressive and melodic roots, you may want to check out Amorphis if you have not yet.  Here are the two tracks I have heard.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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