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Musical Ramblings: A perfect ten for Amorphis's Eclipse

Peter W | Interrobang | Lifestyles | December 4th, 2006

It's hard to pick just one of my newer CDs to review considering I have gotten so many over the past three months, but this release by Amorphis will not disappoint.

Amorphis — Eclipse

Amorphis came together in 1990 looking to get a piece of the Finnish Death Metal scene and released two excellent, dark CDs over the next few years (THE Karelian Isthums and Tales From the Thousand Lakes).

From there, the band tried to bring new approaches to their excellent take on metal by incorporating more melodies, singing and different instruments. My favourite CD from the old line-up that encompasses the aforementioned blending is “Tuonela” and the song “Rusty Moon” off of that release.

A few years later, Amorphis was having a difficult time getting their latest releases to North American soil and their song direction, while still musically strong, seemed to be a little lacking in the vocal department.

In my opinion, “Am Universum” and “Far From the Sun” are excellent musically and vocally, but the creativity and range in the voice just didn't seem like someone who was interested in the band was producing them. Due to reasons beyond the band's control, their North American tour was cancelled and because of this, other musical projects and family life, vocalist, Pasi, left the band.

Vocalist, Tomi Joutsen, stepped in to fill some pretty big shoes, but the band regrouped and have written probably one of the best releases this year with Eclipse. This release sees the band hitting every kind of genre and style that they've tackled on previous releases although there is a major focus on the heavier aspect of metal and more growling vocals than their last three releases.

The folk-music spin the Amorphis is known for integrating into metal is back but accompanied by some solid, heavy riffs and competent drumming. Joutsen is an excellent addition to the Amorphis family and his delivery, while lower and quite different than Pasi is powerful and fits every direction the band takes on this CD.

It's hard to pick a clear winner off of this disc, but the track that made me quickly go out and get this disc once it was released was “Brother Moon.” If you sample that track and like it, I'm guaranteeing that you'll love this whole disc. It's another one of my favourite kinds of CDs where you can put it on and listen to the whole thing, front to back without skipping and gladly going back for more.
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