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Amorphis: Queen of Time

Queen of Time now marks the seventh Amorphis studio album to feature the stellar lead vocals of Tomi Joutsen, which started off with 2006's excellent Eclipse and the Finnish act show no signs of slowing down. In fact, name another band in that time span who have been as consistent as Amorphis? Not many, truth be told, and Queen of Time is another startlingly powerful achievement that follows a string of winners from this band. Queen of Time also sees the return of bassist Olli-Pekka Laine, who is working with Amorphis again for the first time since 1999's Tuonela.

The bands penchant for blending melodic death metal, folk, goth, and prog are all present and accounted for here on Queen of Time, and it's stunning to once again witness just how seamlessly these guys can create music this heavy and make it so damn catchy. Tomi's growls on the chorus of "Message in the Amber" are simply irresistible, complemented by bruising metal riffs, female choirs, and prog/folk keyboard tapestries, while the energetic "The Bee" is just a kick ass death metal track filled with hooks and proggy ambitions. Tasty Hammond organ leads in the Opeth-styled "Daughter of Hate", a gargantuan progressive death metal track full of Joutsen's masterful blend of clean vocals and savage growls, with a surprising yet successful inclusion of a saxophone solo! Plenty more supercharged prog/extreme metal gems are included here, such as "The Golden Elk", "Heart of the Giant", and "Pyres on the Coast", and combined with some of the more symphonic, hook laden numbers like "Wrong Direction" and "Grain of Sand" make for some of the best track-to-track gems to be found on any release to come out this year. There's something to be said for engaging the listener with a successful track sequencing, and Amorphis have done a stellar job here. And, to top it all off, they close out the album with the gorgeous 1-2 punch of "As Mountains Crumble" and "Brother and Sister", two bonus cuts that fit perfectly on the album and really showcase Joutsen's fantastic melodic vocal style as well as Santeri Kallio's keyboard work.

I've long said that, despite how strong all of Amorphis' albums have been in the Tomi Joutsen era, that I've always gravitated towards his first with the group, Eclipse, as my favorite. That opinion is getting seriously challenged here with Queen of Time, which is just a fantastic, fantastic album that is an easy contender for Album of 2018.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1. The Bee
2. Message in the Amber
3. Daughter of Hate
4. The Golden Elk
5. Wrong Direction
6. Heart of the Giant
7. We Accursed
8. Grain of Sand
9. Amongst Stars
10. Pyres on the Coast
11. AS Mountains Crumble
12. Brother and Sister

Added: June 10th 2018
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1199
Language: english

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