Nuclear Blast / Relapse
Hades. Sheol. The Underworld. A Place Hereafter. The Land the Dead. Tuonela. The place where the soul retires to after life, where judgment comes and where expression transcends the mortal realm. Rising from their once black and death metal roots Amorphis fully explore this near apocalyptic state. The Finnish quintet continues down the path of lush guitar and keyboard sound scapes and flowing melody lines they began to travel on 96s Elegy. They have all but forsaken the earthy growl of guitarist and vocalist Tomi Koivusaari for the more melodic and almost sophisticated expressions of Pasi Koskinen. The colourful layering of instrumentation harkens back to the age of psychedelic rock while the inclusion of a broad range of instrumentation hints at the bands progressive rock influence. Add into the mix elements of Finnish folk, medieval orchestral works and middle eastern concepts and you have a brave new world of metal-esque texture and artistic idealism. Amorphis have not forgotten their roots, however, and references to the Finnish culture and their previous concept albums …The Thousand Lakes and Elegy are peppered throughout Tuonela. The sublime darkness that encompassed those efforts flows outwards in gushing rivers, flanked with the subtle shades of light that add depth and dimension into Amorphis’ new approach to metal. The end result is a ten song epic, highlighted by the mini-epic of “Tuonela,” “Greed” and “Divinity” accentuating the progression of Amorphis. Simon Efemey (Paradise Lost, Tiamat) helped to bring out many of the shadings in the sound and expand the direction of the group to encompass the diversity in their work. If you are ready for this kind of soul searching exploration than by all means dip into the darkness of Amorphis and joint them on their trip to the next realm, otherwise hang onto the ear candy of popular music’s curse and await the second coming of musical revolution.