Amorphis is a band with a long history. Originally a death/doom outfit they gradually incorporated more folk and progressive rock influences along the way. The arrival of singer Tommy Joutsen brought Amorphis new elan after the ill-fated “Far From The Sun”. Their “Eclipse” (2006), “Silent Waters” (2007) and “Skyforger” (2009) albums contain some of their best material to date. Let’s see what “The Beginning Of Times”, Joutsen and Co’s latest effort, has to add.
The material on “The Beginning Of Times” isn’t that different from what the band has done on the previous three records. Amorphis’ latest album is filled with intelligently crafted songs with influences from folk music and progressive rock. The trademark Finnish weeping chords give “The Beginning Of Times” the familiar melancholic feel. Vocalist Tommy Joutsen is in fine form with his mighty roar and his equally impressive clean vocals.
Still, “The Beginning Of Times” isn’t just another Amorphis album. Compositions like ‘Battle For The Light’, ‘Mermaid’, ‘You I Need’ and ‘Soothsayer’ are just as strong as any song on “Silent Waters” or “Skyforger”. This album is a grower, it takes several listens before the subtle details begin to reveal themselves. Amorphis has never been about flashy musicianship, it’s their attention to intricate melodies and intelligent songwriting what sets them apart from the rest. ‘Reformation’ and ‘Escape’ are other brilliant examples of what Amorphis are capable of.
Production-wise there’s nothing to complain about “The Beginning Of Times”. The warm and thick sound turns this album into some serious ear-candy.
“The Beginning Of Times” doesn’t contain any surprises, yet it has enough to offer to keep me interested. It’s a grower, just like “Silent Waters” and “Skyforger”. Despite the high quality song material and the magnificent atmosphere, I wouldn’t mind a slight change of direction on the next album…