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Amorphis – The Beginning Of Times – Album Review

Amorphis – The Beginning Of Times – Album Review
Website: www.amorphis.net
Fans Of: Katatonia, While Heaven Wept, Opeth
Label: Nuclear Blast
Download This: My Enemy, You I Need
Genre(s): Progressive Metal / Epic Metal
Release Date: 27/05/11

It’s hard to imagine that a band who have been around for 20 years and who are now set to release their 10th album could be described as under the radar, and yet until I was asked to review Amorphis’s upcoming album ‘The Beginning of Times’ they were definitely under my radar (my bad). In the next 400 words I will tell you why they should definitely be on your radar, and iPod.

Something the band use to great affect is using the same riff or musical idea and transposing it onto different instruments and using it in different ways. This idea is used a lot throughout the album, and gives such a strong sense of individuality to each song, and while this may be a concept album the songs would just as easily stand on their own, there isn’t a weak link here.
The lyrically concept revolves around Väinämöinen, a God who features in Finish folklore and legend. It is often told that he was there at the creation of the world, and that his mother was the daughter of the sky and his father the sea. While this might seem like a lofty and ambitious concept for any band to attempt to conquer, just as Mastodon previously did with Leviathan, Amorphis have risen well above the challenge and delivered above expectation.

Whilst being under the guidance of Marco Hietala (NIGHTWISH, TAROT), Tomi Joutse has done an great job creating vocals that add to the epic feel of the album. Although there is both growls and beautiful clean vocals, they aren’t used in the way that most bands do to show the contrast between them, but instead they are both used where the band feels they would be best used, resulting in a smoother transition between the both than normal.

This is definitely an album that needs to be listened to on a proper stereo not just tinny computer speakers. The depth and layers to the sound add to the sense that there is more to discover on each listen. There are subtle passages and riffs that you won’t realise are there until after many listens, this sense of constant discovery is something that only adds to the magnitude.
The word epic is far too overused at the moment, but there doesn’t seem to be any other way of describing an album of this magnitude and grandeur. This is an album of great ambition, and amazing execution.

Track Listing
1. Battle For Light
2. Mermaid
3. My Enemy
4. You I Need
5. Song of the Sage
6. Three Words
7. Reformation
8. Soothsayer
9. On a Stranded Shore
10. Escape
11. Crack in a Stone
12. Beginning of Time
13. Heart’s Song (digipack bonus)