The Finnish delight in doom metal, Amorphis, has made one of the best cd’s in the pre-apocalyptic year of ‘99. After the magnificant “Tales from the thousand “lakes” and “Elegy” they now offer us ‘Tuonela”: simply a new dimension into their already astonishing music. Of course they have followed their way which they began to walk on with “Elegy”. The death grunts are almost gone and the music maybe isn’t as doomy as on “The tales…”. But that’s only after two or three listenings. When you really start to get into thsi music, you can hear that the music hasn’t been so melancholy and deep ever in their career.They have written some of their best songs of their lifes, and they have put in some new ingredients which make the songs only better. After “Elegy” they began to experiment with psychedelical- and ’70’s-influences. These influences are now put into their music in a very subtile way, just as the eternal Finnish folk-influences, which are again present. All these influences you can hear only after at least three listenings, so you should really try to listen to this music very good. What more can I say now? Maybe that it just isn’t true that (what probably many so-called fans and music-journalists say) Amorphis is now definitively not a metal band any more. Indead, it’s just what the title of this cd tells us (Tuonela is an (old)-Finnish word which means “underworld”): they have never been so deep into the underworld as ever! This was all i could say about this magnificent piec of work. I only want to say now: everyone who loves doom- or gothicmetal should listen to IN THE WOODS, a superb band who is so experimental and weird that nowbody knows them and that you even can’t buy their super-cd’s “Omnio” and “Strange in stereo” at Amazon (shame on you, Amazon! ). And furthermore everyone who likes Amorphis should try the newest of Tiamat and My Dying Bride!
Digitally Remastered and Packaged in a Digipak and Limited to 2,000 Hand Numbered Copies Only. This Prog-metal Classic from the 80\’s is Available Again and Now Includes the Rare Bonus Track \”Far Away\” (Single Edit). An Absolute Must for Fans of Queensryche and Fates Warning!
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“Elegy” saw Amorphis going explicitly for a psychedelic/folk sound, and “Tuonela” carries the band even further in that direction. While “Tales from the Thousand Lakes” remains by far my favorite Amorphis CD, “Elegy” and “Tuonela” each have unique things to offer.”Tuonela” features a more direct songwriting approach than Amorphis has taken in the past. Also, the gruff vocals are almost completely gone, returning only on the song “Greed,” where they fit the lyrics most adeptly, I might add!While going for a more direct, simple approach to songwriting, the songs are also (paradoxically?) more diverse than on “Elegy.” A frequent complaint against “Elegy” is its repetitiveness, but this complaint holds no water against “Tuonela.” I believe Amorphis have simply gone for a different approach with “Tuonela”: “Elegy” was intended to be listened to as a complete album, while on “Tuonela” the individual songs stand on their own. Those songs are, on the whole, structured simply and straightforwardly, with an emphasis on catching the listener with a few, readily identifiable hooks.While those of us with a more experimental turn of mind will be spinning Arcturus, Nightwish, or Opeth, “Tuonela” should have wide appeal to a general metal audience. Amorphis remains hard, though perhaps barely metal, and catchy.
Relapse records: the home of ridiculous, boundary pushing grindcore and sonic extremity. Amorphis hardly qualify as extreme, but boundaries they do push… Tuonela is a logical progression for Finland’s finest metal export. In fact, it barely resembles metal at all, a transition furthered with Am Universum. Instead, Amorphis weave abstract keyboard and organ playing with pyschedelic guitars and the occasional power chord. Tuonela is lush, organic and beautiful… imagine cruising through the desert at night, tripping on Peyote. This is the soundtrack.
You won’t discover everything there is to love about this album on the first listen–it takes a little time. The lyrics–this time wrriten by singer Pasi, instead of lifted from folk poetry–are good; thought-provoking, mysterious, and very individual. They take a while to sink in. I was worried that Amorphis might lose some of their traditional color when they switched back to writing their own lyrics, but they say their own things with all the strange phrasing and twists of words that have always made their lyrics seem out of the ordinary. The music tends toward atmospheric wash, rather than simple crisp riffs, but the songs are still very memorable. The opening track, “The Way”, is very catchy and you will be singing along with choruses on most songs. The flute on “Rusty Moon” is phenomenal. Dvinity stomps through its verses then opens wide in the bridge–you will definitely yell along on this one.With regard to the vocals–Pasi doesn’t have the gutsiest, most powerful voice imaginable, but he has a lot of control and very individual phrasing, and he puts a lot of passion into each of his words. It ends up communicating more than the relatively monotone growls on previous albums–not that I didn’t love those too; in fact, when “Greed” comes up on this album I’m totally psyched for something gutteral. But this is like having a whole new dimension.How does it compare with “Tales from the Thousand Lakes”? Apples and oranges. But you can love them both. This is a masterpiece, recommended 100%.
This has got to be one of the best records of the year. The songs are great, best when the lyrics are read. The lyrics to “Summers End” and “Nightfall” are very talented. Musically, the record is very diverse, their sound is exclusively Amorphis but similar at times to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Ambient, Oriental, The Doors, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple and a bit of Grunge. I’ve listened to Amorphis since 1992(The Karelian Isthmus). I can tell they’re really comfortable with this sound. All the elements from the past have come together to find Tuonela a reflection of the “Real Amorphis.” The keyboard player and Sakari Kukko are awesome. Production is louder and more sonic/dynamic than ever. Of course, if all you listen to is metal you probably won’t dig this record. It’s rock and damn good rock at that. If you only like the old Amorphis, you might buy it for “Greed” which is in the vein of a melodic(and better produced)Karelian Isthmus. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there, like the “2 stars” on this ratings board, who refuse to leave the underground. The appropriate response is: that’s not what music is all about. When a band is together 10 years they sell out when they don’t change. Amorphis changes, and does so successfully. I’d recommend the album to anyone who is a music fan.