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Amorphis: Silent Waters

Chances are, if you loved Amophis' last release Eclipse, then you will have similar feelings towards their latest Silent Waters, which picks up exactly where that one left off. Eclipse made it to many Best Of 2006 lists here at SoT, and Silent Waters is bound to do the same. Label their music what you will, the Finnish legends throw plenty of melodic death metal, prog, gothic metal, psychedelia, and power metal at the listener, and do it convincingly. Tomi Joutsen is also coming into his own as the 'voice' of Amorphis. If his performance on Eclipse didn't totally sell you on that, then give him a try here.

As the last few albums have really shown, this band really knows how to write some catchy melodies and house them within progressive metal arrangements. "Weaving the Incantation" and "A Servant" contain addicting hooks, driven home by Tomi's great clean vocals and awesome growls, and the hard rocking "Towards and Against" is simply marvelous and memorable, complete with layered guitar work from Tomi Koivusaari & Esa Holopainen, as well as Santeri Kallio's symphonic keyboard textures. Similar methods bring about more winners on the title track as well as the gorgeous "I Of Crimson Blood", the latter featuring Kallio's best keyboard playing on the album. The mournful "Her Alone" is a passionate gothic tinged number containing an emotional vocal from Joutsen, while the folky "Enigma" breaks up the album a bit and offers up melodic choir styled vocals, acoustic guitars, mandolins, and heaping amounts of keyboards (Korpiklaani anyone?). "Shamen" again brings some folk elements to the fore, but mixes it with crushing progressive metal riffs, majestic harmony guitar lines, bubbling synths, and soaring vocals. Death metal growls return on "The White Swan", a truly heavy yet breathtaking number that sees Tomi Joutsen again showing off all his vocal personalities. The album ends on a poignant note with "Black River", a sorrowful yet melodic number steeped in piano, organ, wah-wah guitars, and powerful rhythms.

Silent Waters is simply a wonderful release from Amorphis. Not every band can combine lush melodies with extreme metal ferocity and prog rock sophistication & experimentalism like these lads from Finland have been able to do for many years. Toss in a charming cover painting from Travis Smith, and you have a new release that's going to be hard to pass up if you are a loyal metal fan.

Track Listing
01. Weaving The Incantation
02. A Servant
03. Silent Waters
04. Towards And Against
05. I Of Crimson Blood
06. Her Alone
07. Enigma
08. Shaman
09. The White Swan
10. Black River
11. Sign (bonus track on digipak)

Added: June 4th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Amorphis Website
Hits: 5670
Language: english

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Amorphis: Silent Waters
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-06-04 20:16:12
My Score:

When Amorphis released "Eclipse" back in 2006 they pretty much silenced the pundits who had felt that the band was now over given that long time singer Pasi Koskinen had decided to move on. If they wisely remained on board and helped to spread the new gospel of Metal being preached by the band with singer Tomi Joutsen firmly in place, then the Metal community could continue to move forward in positive fashion and all would be as it should. This state of mind is important because with the bands newest release "Silent Waters", the journey and tales that were begun on "Eclipse" continue on and grow darker with each step that is taken. The album tells the tale of the Kalevala hero Lemminkainen and the album is nothing less than stunning as it draws you in from the moment it begins with "Weaving The Incantation". The great thing about the bands newest member Joutsen is that he is singing with both dark and clean vocals which in the end present an incredible dynamic in the material. The return to this aspect of singing was a good move based on this style not only being so prevalent in Metal today, but more so in the fact that Joutsen very simply excels at both of them and ups the bands game in terms of powerful delivery. As the album gets more underway with "The Servant" the listener is treated to a driving number that demonstrates there will be little time to rest with this one if it starts out this strong. The title track comes next and while heavy is a little more solemn in its tone as the hero of the recording sings of his lost son. "Towards And Against" keeps the momentum building and there is so much in the way of melody and vocal changes that one would think the band had a number of different vocalists as opposed to the one. The band has not lost their skillful ability at crafting a solid batch of tunes and if one pays close attention they will find how good all of the albums tracks work with each other. It's no wonder they had been referred to as such an influence upon the Metal scene for such a long time.

I enjoyed everything so far and by the time I got to "I Of Crimson Blood" I found myself reaching for the lyrics to better follow along in this musical journey. It's never a bad thing when the music makes one do that since it gives you a deeper experience as you listen. "Her Alone" is another favorite and loaded with lush riffs and somber piano as the singer explains how a particular woman holds him at her command. quite powerful and explains the hold over him. The bands Folkish side comes into play for "Enigma" which I envisioned the band sitting around an open fire singing all together. "Shaman" also uses some of the Folk elements and even a riff or two from their past recordings. As the albums close draws they get heavier again with "The White Swan" and there are a number of different flavors presented here before the epic closing takes place with "Black River". The track manages to capture quite a few of the feels and vibes that we heard earlier on the album and as result tie the stunning release all together. When it finishes you will only have a moment to catch a breath before you decide to listen to it once again. Some releases offer a bonus track "Sign" which I did hear but was unsure where it was supposed to fall in the context of the album. Amorphis has continued to be the musical representation of their name in their consistent ability to change but still deliver some of the most relevant Metal out there. If you are a fan of the type of band who ups the ante and skillfully meshes melody and heaviness without seeming trite then this release is a must have for your collection. You get the ever necessary lyrics in the enclosed booklet and this one features some incredible artwork by Travis Smith who fans might remember from some Opeth releases. Bands of the world best start paying attention if they hope to keep up with what Amorphis is bringing to the table.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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