I wrote this for a magazine back at the beginning of March but it never got published. ------------------- Those who dont know Amorphis here is a very quick lesson. In the early 90s the Finnish death metal act started their long and progressive career. Over the years they have strayed from the death metal sound and into a more modern rock/melodic metal sound (to an almost stoner rock atmosphere). Until now they had completely dropped elements of their old styles to a more modern rock feel. With Eclipse they venture (halfway) back to their roots to show their fans that influences do not always change. After the sub-par Far From the Sun the 9 year vocalist left the band for personal reasons. This created a Finland-wide search for a new front man. Hundreds of demos later they finally came across Tomi Joutsen to fill the shoes as front man for the band. During the opening track, Two Moons, it is quite apparent that the entire band is very pleased and confident with their choice. The music is more aggressive, the melodies are complete and strong, the vocals include the passion that was left out on the last few albums and both, the music and vocals, blend perfectly together. Tomi brings the strength needed to match the power of the music being played here. Both his diversity and strength are noticeable as he smoothly diverts his voice from one style to another (and back) in the same song. Not to mention the reintroduction of growled vocals. Leaves Scar and Perkele (God of Fire) both have choruses sung completely in death metal growled vocals. Those fans that have been following the band through their career will let out a long sigh of relief to hear these old elements making a powerful come back. The blending of the different styles of vocals on The Smoke leaves you wondering exactly how Tomis voice can handle such drastic changes, especially while singing live. The lyrics are based on Finnish mythology, like they have been in the past, but more closely; Kalevala and the tragic fate of Kullervo. This allowed the band to exercise their new inspiration with writing extremely powerful lyrics and taking their musicianship beyond their own limits. They use their past musical formulas, such as the growled death metal vocals, to deliver those hardened lyrics and melodies to your ears. It is reminiscent and thankfully something that has not been left out. Also like the first few albums the songs have taken on a more folk feel to them, instead of the catchy modern rock melodies the band has depended on more recently. House of Sleep is the first single off the album. It gives you a perfect example of what to expect from the album: keyboard driven melodies, catchy lead guitars and powerful vocals pouring out just as powerful lyrics. Soon after finishing your first journey through the album you'll notice that any song could have made for a perfect first single. It cannot be stressed enough how well the music and vocals blend the melodies together. Brother Moon easily stands out with its beautiful chorus that gives you the eerie feeling (even on first listen) that you've heard it somewhere else before. The acoustics on the album are so beautifully executed. Whether it is throughout an entire song such as Under a Soil and Black Stone or the intros of The Smoke, Brother Moon and Leaves Scars; it is yet another element that adds the perfect folk touch to the album. The sound as a whole is strong guitar leads layered with adapted keyboards and gallant rhythms. It demonstrates the bands long history while still driving them (and their fans) forward through their continued progressive careers. The new vocalist and profound vision they have their eyes set on shows signs of great things to come from this already seasoned group of musicians.