After the first time I listened to this album, all I could say was “Wow!” Amorphis is definitely back on top of their game with “Silent Waters.” Not that I feel they have ever released a bad album; in the ten years that I have been listening to them, they have consistently been one of my favorite bands, through all of their musical changes. However, with new vocalist Tomi Joutsen and a return to their roots in the folklore of the Finnish epics The Kanteletar and The Kalevala, this is truly an amazing album, in the vein of “Elegy” and “Tales From The Thousand Lakes.” Following on the heels of last year’s incredible “Eclipse,” this is the story of Lemminkainen from The Kalevala, who embarks on a hero’s journey and literally goes to hell and back; the entire cycle of poems (English translation) that comprises this story can be read on Amorphis’ official website. While every song on this album is excellent, and obviously are meant to be taken as a whole in order to tell the story, “Weaving the Incantation,” “Towards and Against,” “The White Swan” and “Black River” are my personal favorites; the return to contrasting clean and guttural vocals being one of the main reasons. Basically, buy this album as soon as possible and you will not be disappointed! On a side note, one of the most frustrating things with new albums today is that the foreign release has all sorts of extra stuff, while the extra songs are not made available in the USA until months later, usually on a “special” edition, which just means buying the same album twice. Thank you, Amorphis, for making a bonus track standard on the last two US releases!