This is Amorphis
4th album, and everyone knows how much the band likes to change from release to release, so after the great "Elegy
" fans were a bit anxious to discover what was coming up this time. The answer is "Tuonela
", a work that it's on the same line as "Elegy
", but going even further into a softer metal approach. The grunting vocals almost don't exist, death metal is not played by the band anymore, and many people may even go further and say that this album is half metal, half rock. The album artwork anticipates the album's content: textured, well designed and with less and less metal roots.
Now for the songs:
The starting track, "The way" is superb but unfortunately the vocals are not so great and they kinda ruin what otherwise would be a top song, but it's anyway a good start for the album. After that, "Morning
star" is a nice track, a bit boring with nothing memorable to remember (the band lacks a bit on diversity on this one). "Nightfall
" increases the pace a bit, and has some nice details and good riffs with a more progressive metal touch in it. "Tuonela
" is a soft song, with a ballad touch to it and sounds really good... "Greed
" starts with an oriental mood and it's the first song on the album featuring grunting vocals, but the song is a lot repetitive and to me is the first week moment of the album. "Divinity
" is a "pop-ish" song, with a good rhythm, a catchy melody and weak lyrics but ok, it's a good moment of what I'd call pop-metal - don't be mistaken, it's a good song! "Shining
" feels nice but has nothing special to offer all the way. On the other way it doesn't fail too, so it's a reasonable rock song. "Whithered" keeps the reasonable pace of the album, but this a song I particularly like... don't ask me why since it's so similar to many others in this album. "Rusty moon" is perhaps the song in this album that brings more mysticism and (with a really different sound than before), even then, can take us to the band past. "Summer's End
" closes the album in a very well fashioned way with a deep song, with more atmosphere than most of the other songs in the album, thanks to good use of keyboards and for being really different from most of the other songs.
This time I really can't forget the previous albums that Amorphis
has produced. "Tuonela
" is a very decent effort, with some great songs, with really good musical work that shows that Amorphis
are doing what they like instead of looking at their fans. While this may be good and bad at the same time, the band lacked a bit of variety in "Tuonela
", and I guess that for the first time they didn't surprise me, rather being a band that plays very well and produces good songs.
Tips to listen: "The Way", "Withered
", "Rusty Moon
" and "Summer's End