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Amorphis Album #12 (September 4, 2015)

Discussion in 'Amorphis (Unofficial)' started by Luoto, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Tuuletar

    Tuuletar Amokala

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    Good stuff in the new album :)
    I like that there are additions like female vocals, flutes and church organs, while it's nice to hear how Tomi's singing has developed even to "black metal growls".

    The Skull is one of my favourites because it's fine progressive-metal song with the beautiful interlude and Enemy At The Gates is another that I like a lot.
    I really like all those oriental "kebab-vibes" in Death of A King (no wonder right after a holiday trip in Turkey :D ) and the folkish touch / flutes in Tree of Ages.
    The title song and the bonus tracks belong to my favourites as well; besides the Moog melody in Winter's Sleep does remind me of Tales from the Thousand Lakes.
     
  2. Luoto

    Luoto Member

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    Winter's Sleep almost sounds like Kasper Mårtenson himself made a guest appearance on it :D The Wind is my favorite out of the bonus tracks, but it's safe to say Bogren picked the right songs for the album proper.
     
  3. season1234

    season1234 Member

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    Can anyone tell me where I can get ahold of The Wind without having to buy the Japanese version of the LP (already bought the american version). Thanks!
     
  4. Eurynome

    Eurynome Kukkahattutäti

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    I prefer not to upload it to any public site, but anyone who needs the track, feel free to send me a pm.

    Speaking of obscure tracks, I've never been a fan of COB but apparently anything sounds good if you give it the A treatment... ;)
     
    #64 Eurynome, Sep 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  5. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    I certainly like their cover of CoB better than I like Alexi's attempt at Black Winter Day. As a vocalist Alexi's a good lead guitarist.
     
  6. Eurynome

    Eurynome Kukkahattutäti

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    Have you ever considered a career with the Diplomatic Corps? Pays better than teaching, and you're clearly a natural. :D
     
  7. Nerevar

    Nerevar Namahage

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    The best thing about that CoB cover for me is the vocals.. still, I'd like them to cover more songs that let Tomi show off his awesome '70s style vocals. Maybe some Rush?

    But at least 'Illusion' is getting a sort of proper release on that split album.
     
  8. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    Okay, I'll say it.

    Spent part of last weekend on the road listening to Amo in the car (which has a better sound system than the house). Played Under the Red Cloud back to back with Skyforger.

    Perkele! :OMG: I think I like the new one better, overall. Hard to top "Skyforger" itself as a song, and I'd probably still recommend it first to my friends who are not quite as accustomed to growls as we are, but Under the Red Cloud is more consistently good and has more energy due to its faster pace.

    I will wear my new UtRC t-shirt with pride.

    Well played, good sirs, well played.
     
  9. season1234

    season1234 Member

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    Here's my review from the Metal Archives if anyone cares to read it:

    Amorphis returns with what is arguably their finest record with Tomi Joutsen on vocals (although I could still argue that Skyforger holds that title). Upon the initial listen, I was slightly disappointed. The lack of ultra-catchy choruses as found on the first 3 LP's with Joutsen was surprising but not entirely unexpected after Circle. It was not until the 3rd listening session when I began to see the brilliance of this record, despite my initial misgivings.

    For one, the use of the growls has increased significantly. Of course they have been present since Eclipse, but we haven't heard an Amorphis album with this many growls since Tales from the Thousand Lakes. And the growls are simply dominating. Joutsen's mighty, forceful roar is unleashed on every single song aside from Sacrifice, and there are even a few songs where the chorus is completely growled. There are times when he holds the roars for a very long time, often over crushingly heavy and wicked riffs, and you are simply blown away by how superb his growling is (perhaps the best I have ever heard). You could also easily argue that this is the bands heaviest record since Tales as well. While songs such as the title track and the aforementioned Sacrifice aren't quite up to the quality of some of the other tracks, they are still very good - there is not a bad song on the record!

    Back to my initial dissatisfaction with the choruses: What was revealed after multiple listens was that the band did this on purpose (which I later confirmed through multiple interviews). They were looking for a less poppy sound, and by god they achieved it. How is this record so good without the consistently catchy choruses? By creating compositions that from beginning to end are entirely engrossing, well-written, and create a seamless continuity from song one to song ten. The riffs are so excellent, and the use of flute, female vocals, sitar and many oriental scales so effective, that you begin to realize that the choruses are different, but still very good. On top of that, the choruses on songs like Death of a King, Sacrifice, The Skull, and White Night are actually among their best.

    The best songs on the record are: The Four Wise Men (Joutsen only growls on this song, switching between piercing black metal screamed and lower growls during the chorus. The main riff is driving mid-tempo melodic death metal, the guitar solo is stunning, and the bridges in the middle/end of the song with the flute is absolutely epic and beautiful), Death Of A King (Often referred to as the Elegy song due it's use of Sitar, but aside from that this songs sounds nothing like an Elegy track. The main riff is crushing with growled vocals, along with some interesting guitar and flute work over the heaviness. The chorus is stunning and catchy), and a trio of songs on the second half of the record. Dark Path has a powerful verse that recalls the old days, with growls flowing over a riff that sounds like it would have fit right on the Tales Record. The melody and the keyboards over the driving double bass may cause you to bang your head until injury occurs! The Tree of Ages offers a folky central riff, intertwined with multiple melodic death metal sections (one recalling Iron Maiden) and another stunning solo by Esa.

    To top the album off, closer White Night brings the goods. The opening riff (clean guitars) recalls Katatonia circa The Great Cold distance, especially when the riff is revisited during the mid-section of the song. The bridges contain a might oriental inspired riff with Joutsen's dominating roar, followed by a Chorus that is quite possibly the catchiest and most memorable on the album, if not in years. The only reason I do not give the record a 100 is I would have preferred a few catchier choruses, but do not let that dissuade you. This is in contention for my album of the year (and is currently winning that title), and once this record gets under your skin you may come to see that this is easily in the top 3 Amorphis records of all time. Highly recommended!
     
    narcolepsy likes this.
  10. Eurynome

    Eurynome Kukkahattutäti

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    Excellent review, couldn't agree more!! :)
     
  11. WardyS1

    WardyS1 Member

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    Yeah saw yer review over at MA season, very nice review!

    Confident at this stage tuonelan I couldN'T put UTRC above Skyforger, but certainly is up there with their best work. Not sure yet where it sits, tbh have been distracted with so many quality releases of late I've given Amorphis a small reprieve LOL but have it chalked up for a return next week while on a weeks leave from the office.

    And can't wait!

    ETA that should've read 'Confident at this stage tuonelan I could NOT put UTRC above Skyforger...'

    Don't drink and type kids ;)
     
  12. Luoto

    Luoto Member

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    You could try playing UtRC to someone that isn't really into (modern) metal but is otherwise musical. I read a story from a middle-aged blues rock fan who heard House of Sleep on the radio, and based on that checked out the new album. Even though he admitted to despising the modern metal music he knew, Under the Red Cloud absolutely floored him! He of course thought the growls were a bit weird at first, which is normal, but he totally dug the musicianship and melodies.

    Under the Red Cloud seems to be going places, in general. On the Metal Storm website, for example, it has the highest sustained* user rating in 5 years (since Axioma Ethica Odini by Enslaved). This album might become a yet another classic on certain levels.

    As for comparisons to Skyforger, I'm confident this album tops it. Even though Skyforger is excellent, it hasn't stood the test of time quite as well as Eclipse, for example.

    * Most albums that have recently entered the all-time top 200 chart (at 200 votes given) have pretty quickly dropped out. UtRC climbed on the chart after meeting the required amount of votes, and has stayed there.
     
  13. season1234

    season1234 Member

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    Thanks! I think I was largely able to convey how I feel about the record, minus a few spelling errors! Writing a review that isn't too vague or cloying can be difficult.

    By the way: Mind sharing some of the quality releases you've been diving into? I may want to check some of them out.
     
  14. season1234

    season1234 Member

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    I know it was some time ago, but your review from the listening session was excellent. After hearing the record, your description of the record's atmosphere and content was spot on - very nice! I've found a few reviews on the web that are so minimal and vague that they were close to pointless. A few of them were literally about the length of this paragraph!
     
  15. WardyS1

    WardyS1 Member

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    Keep coming back to Paradise Lost THE PLAGUE WITHIN W.A.S.P. GOLGOTHA Iron Maiden THE BOOK OF SOULS Sevendust KILL THE FLAW Cold Chisel THE PERFECT CRIME Queensryche CONDITION HUMAN and Circle II Circle gets released next week LOL.

    Not for a second saying any these better than Amorphis though, far from it, but everything (including Amorphis) seems to have come flooding in all at once and is time to seriously revisit UTRC!
     
  16. season1234

    season1234 Member

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    Thanks! I have the Paradise Lost and the Iron Maiden, enjoy them both. Didn't even know Queensryche had a new record, will give that and the others a try. I've been very much enjoying the new My Dying Bride as well.
     
  17. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    New Swallow the Sun and Enshine on the way as well.

    Enslaved - In Times is still on my year-end list as well.

    The new Borknagar will have to wait for next year's list.
     
  18. WardyS1

    WardyS1 Member

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    Yeah Swallow The Sun another I will throw in the ears and see how it works out... ;)
     
  19. Eurynome

    Eurynome Kukkahattutäti

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    Thanks! :) I felt more than a bit overwhelmed at that session, but even after many spins I'd still give it the full ten points. Finally got to see the new stuff live this weekend, worked perfectly on stage as well.

    Oh, and the new Amorphis beer isn't bad either. Slightly bitter, so I wouldn't recommend it to people who prefer a sweeter or more neutral taste, but I'm all fine with it. :kickass:
     
  20. tuonelan

    tuonelan Mostly Harmless

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    Haven't had any opportunity to taste the Ale, but judging from Maku's notes, yeah, it looks like what's called an American West Coast Pale Ale (because all of the hop varieties used in the beer originate in the Pacific Northwest of the US). 45 EBU is going to give you a pretty noticeable hop profile and there's not a lot of malt sweetness in the grain they use to take the edge off of the grapefruit and resin flavor of the hops.

    If I were brewing it, I'd want to add some medium roasted barley with some sugar in them to counterbalance and complement the hops.

    Sounds like a good beer for warmer weather, though. It's been 30-40C here all week, and I've been craving something crisp and bitter.
     

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