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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.

    Posted on February 16, 2010