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%.