I purchased this Amorphis album thinking it was going to be like their later, more progressive and diverse releases. I was quite shocked to find out that it was a dark death metal album, although I was pleasantly surprised! This is a very dark and heavy metal album that is both simple and talented. I am quite pleased with this early style that Amorphis had. The guitar riffs are definitely the highlight of the album, having a dark and heavy tone reminiscent of Celtic Frost. After the great atmospheric acoustic track “Karelia”, there is no let up on the relentless death metal attack. The album also diverts into more of a doomy and slow sound, although the elements of early death metal – complete with the low growls of Tomi Kivusaari – remain. It is a concept album of some sort of war – I believe it is a Finnish folk tale although it sounds like a tale of the Crusades. My favorite song is “Vulgar Necrolatry”, a fast paced canticle praising necromance. The bonus tracks are pretty good but I would be just as happy without them.Overall I recommend “The Karelian Isthmus” to anyone who is looking for a dark death metal album, but isn’t seeking anything excessively brutal.