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Amorphis: Circle

Admission, I was really late to the wonders of Amorphis, Skyforger late! However I have made up for this slight oversight. An amazing live band who also produce albums that match that reputation. Circle follows on from their tried and tested formula of the last few albums, melodic heavy songs with a traditional flavor from their home of Finland. As the press release says:- Circle tells the story of an unfortunate man, who is invited to a circle and receives strength from the old Finnish gods. As the plot is set completely between dusk and dawn, "Circle" gains a dark yet yearning atmosphere.

Our first taste was the release of the astounding 'Hopeless Day's' which to be honest is probably still my favorite track, chugging guitars massive melodies and the clean vocals of Tomi Joutsen really set it off. Amorphis really do know how to capture the melancholic dark rock/metal feel they have been so successful in achieving as opening track 'Shades Of Grey' growl into life. Consisting of mostly clean vocals they have not fully abandon the more aggressive vocal style which is put to good use on 'Nightbirds Song' and its throaty vocal.

But throughout the album it's the killer choruses and melodies that truly enhance and draws the listener into the Amorphis Circle. A deep album with extraordinary levels of musicianship throughout, from the keyboards to the drums all mutating into this glorious noise of Scandinavian brilliance. Amorphis have forged a strong reputation in the last 10 years and Circle strengthens the foundation ensuring they are here for a while yet.

Track Listing:
1. . Shades Of Gray
2. . Mission
3. . The Wanderer
4. . Narrow Path
5. . Hopeless Days
6. . Nightbird's Song
7. . Into The Abyss
8. . Enchanted By The Moon
9. . A New Day

Added: April 27th 2013
Reviewer: Mark Davies
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2845
Language: english

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Amorphis: Circle
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-04-27 07:13:34
My Score:

I've said it before, and will probably say it again, but Finnish metal legends Amorphis have been one of the most consistent bands on the scene for so long you almost take it for granted that they are going to deliver a home run time and time again. Though I found 2011's The Beginning of Times to be the weakest of the Tomi Joutsen era, it still was a plenty strong release, but the band have come roaring back with a vengeance with their latest, Circle. You ever hear the term 'instantly memorable'? Well, that's the best way to describe Circle; from the first listen, these powerful melodies are instantly stuck in your head. Traditional Finnish & Celtic themes are just dripping all over each song here, and combined with all the crushing riffs, tasty keyboards, and wonderful vocal layers from Joutsen, it makes for a completely winning formula.

Highlights? Well, there are many, including the hook laden but massive songs "Shades of Gray", "Mission", "Narror Path", and of course the gothic tinged "Hopeless Days", which has some of the heaviest riffs on the album. Joutsen spews some evil growls along with his soaring clean vocals on the proggy "Nightbird's Song", and speaking of prog, the band comes as close to that genre as they ever have on the lovely "Into the Abyss", a stunning track with one of Tomi's best vocal performances and outstanding keyboard layers courtesy of Santeri Kallio. Amorphis haven't forgotten how to deliver the death metal goods either, which can be heard on the catchy "Enchanted By the Moon", another ultra memorable & powerful song.

Circle is a stunning achievement, and easily the band's best outing since Eclipse. Considering the strength of their last few releases, that should tell you just how good this one is. Good luck getting these songs out of your head-this is catchy, addicting stuff here folks, but still heavy as well and so classy. Highly recommended!

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