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Amorphis: Under the Red Cloud

The mighty Finn's Amorphis return with another platter of sizzling melodic extreme metal for Nuclear Blast, this one titled Under the Red Cloud. At this point, I don't think there is any band who is delivering such classy, catchy, thought provoking music that also packs as much of a punch as this veteran act consistently has done throughout their long career, and this latest is another fine example of what they do so well. Now in the band for close to a decade, vocalist Tomi Joutsen has emerged as one of the genres best, a frontman who possesses not only the mighty death metal roar, but also a soaring clean melodic style that's both powerful & emotional. Coupled with plenty of chugging riffs, fiery leads, majestic keyboards, and a rhythm section that never quits, Amorphis have been riding a tidal wave of excellence that just never seems to let up.

If you've thoroughly enjoyed Eclipse, Silent Waters, Skyforger, The Beginning of Times, and Circle, then Under the Red Cloud will feel like an old friend, instantly accessible and memorable right from the first note of the opening title track. The melodies and hooks are ever present, every step of the way, but with plenty of brutality mixed in along with gothic, proggy goodness, the overall appeal of these dozen songs is immediately apparent and continually irresistible. "Enemy at the Gates", "Dark Path", "Bad Blood", and the rampaging "Death of a King" are all fine examples of the masterful blend of death metal, melodic rock, folk, gothic, and prog that Amorphis are famous for, and the upbeat "Tree of Ages" represents folk metal of the highest order, with flutes and acoustic guitars complementing the bombastic electric guitar riffs, glorious keyboards, potent rhythms, and Joutsen's commanding roar. Guest female vocals courtesy of Aleah Stanbridge accent the symphonic "White Night", and complex guitar & keyboard arrangements permeate the galloping "Come the Spring", one of the albums more power/progressive metal styled numbers, complete with more of Joutsen's uncanny clean vocal passages.

Though the argument could be made that Amorphis aren't really doing anything new on Under the Red Cloud, the fact of the matter is that, despite the familiar feel to many of these songs, they are instantly memorable, catchy, and encompass all the elements noted above that make the bands music so compelling and engaging. All of that makes Under the Red Cloud a major success, an album that will beg for repeated spins for months to come. Once again, job well done guys!

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1) Under the Red Cloud
2) The Four Wise Ones
3) Bad Blood
4) The Skull
5) Death of a King
6) Sacrifice
7) Dark Path
8) Enemy at the Gates
9) Tree of Ages
10) White Night
11) Come the Spring
12) Winter's Sleep

Added: September 18th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1938
Language: english

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