In the course of their career AMORPHIS have gone through many, many changes and one of the last was their long-term singer Pasi Koskinen leaving the band, concentrating on his other bands and projects such as AJATTARA, MANNHAI or also TO SEPARATE THE FLESH FROM THE BONES. His successor is Tomi Joutsen, who so far has been active in bands such as SINISTHRA or FUNERAL JACKET, which effect this would have on a band that had evolved away from the Death Metal sounds of their early years (“The Karelian Isthmus“) towards a strongly Alternative and psychedelia influenced style (“Am Universum“), so that I honestly had no big hopes for further classics such as Tales From The Thousand Lakes“ and “Elegy“?
Well, with as little hopes as I had put into “Eclipse”, as much had I been surprised by this album, for the band around mastermind Esa Holopainen seems to have recaptured the magic that had made them something so special back then, having some sort of hybrid sound of these two classics, yet still making one step forward in their musical evolution, I definitely would not have expected this!
They have added heaviness again and the growls have found their way back into AMORPHIS’ sound, paired with some of the Rock elements of their younger releases and the AMORPHIS typical folky melodies, which give the songs their very own touch and showcase the Finns’ magic again. The opener “Two Moons“ sets out pretty fast and heavy, with slow-paced chorus, in which Tomi lets his voice soar, but this is only the beginning for an album that is a hot contender for the title of album of the year!
Because right after follows one hammer after the other, beginning with “House Of Sleep“ with its great guitar melodies and piano parts, “Leaves Scar” that starts with a light German flute and for the first time brings back the grows, irresistible melodies and strong vocals, this is fun, just like “Born From Fire” with its superb guitar melodies. “Under A Soil And A Black Stone“ sets out balladesque, but speeds things up a lot in the second half, while “Perkele (The God Of Fire)“ at first has a certain oriental touch (greetings from “Tales From The Thousand Lakes“) and then THE firecracker: “Brother Moon“, with incredible melodies, which grip you from the get-go!
Packed into a powerful production there only remains the question, what could go wrong and the answer simply is – nothing! On top of that it also bases on the story of Kullervo from the Kalevala, so all I have left to say is: GET IT! (Online April 9, 2006)