Monday, April 22, 2013

Amorphis - Circle (2013)

Finnish band Amorphis started out in 1990 as a death metal band, but has, slowly but surely, become more melodic and also introduced more modern segments into their music. I definitely felt that the transformation was more or less complete after their latest release, "The Beginning of Times", an album that I by the way find overrated. So when my speakers blasted through with the first song in this new album entitled "Circle", I was almost chocked to hear a heavy sound with a lot of growling which could mean that the band went back towards their roots

"Circle" is, without a doubt, a much darker album then its predecessor, mostly because the growling part of Tomi Joutsen's vocals takes up more space this time (but the main focus is still on the clean vocals). However, do not expect material that could be compared with Amorphis's early works. It is still the melodic and almost Gothic sound that makes up most of "Circle". The closest to something you will get from their first albums is the verses in "Shades of Gray" and most parts of "Nightbird's Song". Otherwise, it is the same old Amorphis that we have learned to know in recent days. Melodic, epic and emotional tunes that makes melodic metal lovers really happy.

One song that is instantly recognizable of the modern Amorphis is "Mission" with its melodic and low-key sound that probably will not make you head bang, but it still releases some good feelings inside your body. But we already know that the band know how to create these kinds of songs, so let us skip to the second half of the album, where things are starting to happen.

When "Hopeless Days" comes in and embraces you with its heavy riff, you better sit there and take it like a man, 'cause it is a very good song that shows some skills, but the chorus could have been improved so the track would be more memorable. After that, "Nightbird's Song" enters the stage and it is without a doubt the song that is closest to death metal. It is a demoniacal song where Joutsen shows his entire growling register and the rest of the band makes sure that the mood is just as it should be. The melody is still there, which works out pretty good for the song even though it takes a more anonymous part in that particular track. No matter what, "Nightbird's Song" gives "Circle" some much needed variation. The last notable song is "Enchanted By The Moon" that has some very interesting tempo shifting and some of the best guitar work in the album. Other songs in "Circle", like "Into The Abyss" and "Narrow Path", scratches my nerves and tries to get my attention, but they just do not have the same strength as some of the best songs on this record, which leads those songs into oblivion. If the band had found the time to put a little more effort into these songs, then "Circle" maybe could have been a smash hit. And one more thing, the bonus track and almost instrumental "His Story" is, according to me, unnecessary.

"Circle" is a enjoyable album, but it does not stand up against albums like "Skyforger" and "Eclipse". And just like with "The Beginning of Time", I find this album slightly overrated. There is nothing in "Circle" that we have not seen in previous Amorphis albums and the mediocre lyrics does not help to lift the album. They try to go back to their roots in some parts, but falls flat out in most parts. So good try Amorphis, but 2013 is certainly not your best year.

Songs worthy of recognition: Shades of Gray, Enchanted By The Moon, Nightbird's Song

Rating: 7/10 Missions

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is kind of creepy! I would be kind of scared if I saw something like that on a metal gates calgary! I didn't know there were designs on metal like that at all! Thanks for sharing though!