AMORPHIS – Eclipse
Amorphis has had an interesting musical journey…
They are credited at being one of the originators of Melodic Death Metal with their albums, `The Karelian Isthmus’ (1992) and `Tales from the Thousand Lakes’ (1994). They began the blending of Singing with their abrasive vocals on (What most would call) their masterpiece, `Elegy’ (1996). Losing the growls the band released a very different, yet still intriguing album in 1999 titled Tuonela. Blending Prog, Hard-Rock, with a more traditional Folk style… Sadly the new millennium was not as kind to Amorphis. `Am Universum’ (2000) was alright but really just not the `Amorphis’ that people had come to know… 2003’s `Far From the Sun’ was decent, but more of a straight-forward rock album. Shortly after this album long time vocalist Pasi Koskinen, left the band… he was replaced by Tomi Joutsen.
This brings us to 2006, and the release of `Eclipse’, which is their strongest release since Elegy…
-Eclipse opens with Two Moons which is a perfect intro… Some fancy keyboard work which is pushed by powerful, driving guitars. The second, Tomi’s voice comes in all my `new vocalist’ worries were washed away… His combination of aggressive hard-rock vocals with his haunting singing voice is a perfect balance. The bass and drum work, as always is exceptionally tight.
-Track two, House of Sleep is the finest rock song I have heard in years… this song is simply fantastic. With no pun intended this song eclipses any of Amorphis’s previous attempts at catchy, hard-rock. The piano work during the last minute is outstanding.
-Leaves Scar, is a return to the days of Elegy… combining some well executed growls with some nice singing. The guitar work on this track shines back to the Thousand Lakes days… This song has a big Folk vibe… Very cool.
-The fourth song is Born from Fire, a solid track, although compared to the first four tracks it just seems good and not great. However it has an incredible guitar solo…
-Under a Soil and Black Stone, is perfectly placed at track five. An emotive piece with some great piano work during the intro… the song builds really nicely, growing heavier and climaxing with a fantastic guitar solo. The song then closes back out with the piano and fades into…
-Perkele (The God of Fire), which is a pure tour de force… The vocals, play really well between the death growls and the clean singing. This song is a big plus for fans from the Thousand Lakes era.
-Track seven is, The Smoke, a solid track overall… just nothing particular outstanding.
-The progressive sounding, Same Flesh follows… The rhythm section shines on this track… dishing out a powerful back-drop for the guitars and vocals.
-Track nine is the folk-driven Brother Moon… another fantastic track. This song is so musically precise, I love the intricate drum work.
-The closer is the beautiful Empty Opening, a stunning track which perfectly closes out the album.
-And finally, just when you thought the CD was over they unleash the Secret song, [Track 11] Stone Woman.
A nice bonus to have… Another rocking track.
It is in the Top 3 of 2006 thus far… Fantastic Musicianship, Excellent Vocals, and an album that just plain kicks ass!!!
Favorite Songs: House of Sleep, Leaves Scar, Under a Soil and Black Stone, Two Moons and Same Flesh.
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