AMORPHIS

Progressive Metal / Death Metal / Melodic Death Metal • Finland
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Amorphis is a Finnish metal band started by Jan Rechberger, Tomi Koivusaari and Esa Holopainen in 1990. Amorphis absorbed and incorporated influences from many metal genres, and with time passing their sound evolved dramatically. Initially, the band was a death metal act, but with time they have evolved into making music that is more classifiable as doom metal with folk influences, and, more recently, progressive metal and hard rock, utilizing increasingly complex arrangements and a less brutal sound. Amorphis is also well known for their use of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, as a source for their lyrics.

History

In 1989 Jan Rechberger and Esa Holopainen played in a speed metal band Violent Solution, which Tomi Koivusaari had left the previous year to form the death metal band Abhorrence. Violent Solution slowly withered away as the musicians became interested in other things and styles of music. At this
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Queen Of TimeQueen Of Time
Nuclear Blast 2018
$12.19
$7.46 (used)
The Karelian IsthmusThe Karelian Isthmus
Reissued · Remastered · Extra tracks
Relapse 2005
$12.68
$15.66 (used)
SkyforgerSkyforger
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$13.18
$12.54 (used)
EclipseEclipse
Back on Black 2018
$27.99
$29.34 (used)
Under the Red CloudUnder the Red Cloud
Nuclear Blast America 2015
$6.09
$4.59 (used)
Tales From The Thousand LakesTales From The Thousand Lakes
Reissued · Extra tracks
Relapse 2005
$12.94
$8.16 (used)
Circle (jewel case)Circle (jewel case)
Nuclear Blast America 2013
$6.70
$5.70 (used)
Silent WatersSilent Waters
Nuclear Blast America 2012
$11.23
$6.04 (used)
Elegy (Reissue)Elegy (Reissue)
Relapse 2015
$23.37
Am UniversumAm Universum
Relapse 2005
$8.98
$2.80 (used)
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AMORPHIS Discography

AMORPHIS albums / top albums

AMORPHIS The Karelian Isthmus album cover 3.27 | 22 ratings
The Karelian Isthmus
Death Metal 1992
AMORPHIS Tales From the Thousand Lakes album cover 4.26 | 60 ratings
Tales From the Thousand Lakes
Melodic Death Metal 1994
AMORPHIS Elegy album cover 3.95 | 36 ratings
Elegy
Progressive Metal 1996
AMORPHIS Tuonela album cover 3.68 | 28 ratings
Tuonela
Progressive Metal 1999
AMORPHIS Am Universum album cover 3.58 | 24 ratings
Am Universum
Progressive Metal 2001
AMORPHIS Far From the Sun album cover 2.69 | 18 ratings
Far From the Sun
Progressive Metal 2003
AMORPHIS Eclipse album cover 3.78 | 28 ratings
Eclipse
Progressive Metal 2006
AMORPHIS Silent Waters album cover 3.85 | 29 ratings
Silent Waters
Progressive Metal 2007
AMORPHIS Skyforger album cover 3.99 | 39 ratings
Skyforger
Progressive Metal 2009
AMORPHIS The Beginning of Times album cover 3.79 | 37 ratings
The Beginning of Times
Progressive Metal 2011
AMORPHIS Circle album cover 3.65 | 25 ratings
Circle
Progressive Metal 2013
AMORPHIS Under The Red Cloud album cover 4.50 | 20 ratings
Under The Red Cloud
Progressive Metal 2015
AMORPHIS Queen Of Time album cover 4.46 | 9 ratings
Queen Of Time
Progressive Metal 2018

AMORPHIS EPs & splits

AMORPHIS Amorphis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Amorphis
Death Metal 1992
AMORPHIS Privilege of Evil album cover 3.50 | 4 ratings
Privilege of Evil
Death Metal 1993
AMORPHIS Black Winter Day / Fear album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Winter Day / Fear
Death Metal 1995
AMORPHIS Black Winter Day album cover 3.67 | 9 ratings
Black Winter Day
Melodic Death Metal 1995
AMORPHIS My Kantele album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
My Kantele
Progressive Metal 1997
AMORPHIS Far From The Sun / The Audio Injected Soul / Warkult album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Far From The Sun / The Audio Injected Soul / Warkult
Progressive Metal 2004
AMORPHIS Relapse Singles Series Volume 4 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Relapse Singles Series Volume 4
Death Metal 2004
AMORPHIS Martyr of the Free Word / From the Heaven of My Heart album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Martyr of the Free Word / From the Heaven of My Heart
Progressive Metal 2009
AMORPHIS Tales From Lake Bodom album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Tales From Lake Bodom
Progressive Metal 2015

AMORPHIS live albums

AMORPHIS An Evening with Friends at Huvila album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
An Evening with Friends at Huvila
Progressive Metal 2017

AMORPHIS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

AMORPHIS Disment of Soul album cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
Disment of Soul
Death Metal 1991

AMORPHIS re-issues & compilations

AMORPHIS Story: 10th Anniversary album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Story: 10th Anniversary
Progressive Metal 2000
AMORPHIS Value Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Value Box
Progressive Metal 2000
AMORPHIS Chapters album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Chapters
Progressive Metal 2003
AMORPHIS Magic & Mayhem: Tales From The Early Years album cover 3.09 | 9 ratings
Magic & Mayhem: Tales From The Early Years
Melodic Death Metal 2010
AMORPHIS Best Of Amorphis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Of Amorphis
Progressive Metal 2013
AMORPHIS His Story - Best Of album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
His Story - Best Of
Progressive Metal 2016

AMORPHIS singles (16)

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Divinity / Northern Lights
Progressive Metal 1999
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Alone
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Evil Inside
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Day of Your Beliefs
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mourning Soil
Progressive Metal 2003
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
House of Sleep
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Smoke
Progressive Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Silent Waters
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Silver Bride
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
From the Heaven of My Heart
Progressive Metal 2009
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
You I Need
Progressive Metal 2011
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Hopeless Days
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Wanderer
Progressive Metal 2013
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Death Of A King
Progressive Metal 2015
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sacrifice
Progressive Metal 2015
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Separated
Progressive Metal 2016

AMORPHIS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
4.10 | 5 ratings
Forging The Land Of Thousand Lakes
Progressive Metal 2010

AMORPHIS Reviews

AMORPHIS Queen Of Time

Album · 2018 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kev Rowland
After twelve albums, world tours, countless gold records, Amorphis are back with their mix of metal, folklore and rock. After their last tour they decided to take a break before going into the studio to rehearse the new album, so had a single day off, before starting the next chapter. This means that all the tightness and understanding that develops from being on the road and gigging were still very much there. In many ways it goes back to the early Seventies when bands were expect to either be on the road or in the studio, preferably releasing an album every 6-8 months. I remember reading an interview with Ian Anderson saying that all his downtime while on tour in the States was spent writing songs for the next Jethro Tull album as they had to be ready for the band to record before they headed back out on the next tour.

I have long been a fan of Amorphis, who somehow manage to bring together many different styles and influences yet make the music so complete and seamless that it always makes total sense. It doesn’t matter if there is a saxophone, or guitar solo, or choir, it is always exactly the right thing to move the music onwards. After their last album, ‘Under The Red Cloud’, some fans may have expected them to get even heavier, but here they have moved sideways and have brought in the likes Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie) on pipes, laryngeal singer Albert Kuvezin and saxophonist Jørgen Munkeby, plus an orchestra and a choir, while also maintaining an incredibly heavy intensity. These elements deliver a dramatic and cinematic depth to the sound, making everything even more epic, even deeper, and even more meaningful than ever before.

As always, borne by Pekka Kainulainen's poetic lyrics, AMORPHIS penetrate deeper than ever into the thicket of folklore and cosmic contexts. "This time, Pekka tells about the cosmic powers that people believed in long ago in a very universal way: the rise and fall of cultures." This is also symbolized by the image of the bee on the album cover - the queen of time, as Holopainen explains the title of the album. "It represents the microcosm that can nevertheless trigger cataclysmic changes. The fall of world empires ushered in by a small sprouting seed. The butterfly that causes a hurricane." And as “Daughter Of Hate” needed a spoken part, lyricist Kainulainen also appears for the first time as a narrator. An excellent choice: His wise and venerable shaman-like voice is a perfect match to the music. Original bassist Olli-Pekka Laine, has also returned to the fold, following the departure of Niclas Etelävuori after 17 years, as the band look both back over what has gone before, and to the future with yet another stunning piece of work. From the production through to the quality and style of the songs, this is essential.

AMORPHIS The Karelian Isthmus

Album · 1992 · Death Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
voila_la_scorie
Once again, I have Banger TV on YouTube and its Lock Horns program to thank for pointing me to yet another band that I felt interesting enough to merit purchasing an album. On the episode about early death / doom metal, Amorphis' name came up, and as I had already heard about their "Land of a Thousand Lakes" album from checking out compilation and "best" videos on YouTube, I began sampling albums in an effort to decide which to buy first. My choice was "Land of a Thousand Lakes", but thriftiness prevailed and I bought the cheaper debut album, "The Keralian Isthmus".

This is also yet another case of me learning something through a heavy metal band as I was unfamiliar with the Keralian Isthmus and its history. The album, however, is not about that; I had to check Wikipedia.

The re-issue of the debut I have also includes five songs from the "Privilege of Evil" EP that the band recorded around the time the original project called Abhorrence was dissolving into Amorphis. Thus, even though three songs appear on both albums, they have a different sound from "The Keralian Isthmus" with one of the most noticeable being that the EP version of "Vulgar Necrolaty" has a different vocalist and a death metal-styled guitar solo.

The album's begins with a short acoustic guitar track and from there on its heavy electric guitars all the way. The music typically follows a mid-tempo speed but does have both faster and slower moments. Each song generally changes rhythm and tempo a few times, making any individual track interesting to listen to. You can expect chugging heavy guitars, barre chords, and riffs comprised of melodic, single-note-picked riffs. Sometimes I am reminded of Iron Maiden's melodic guitar riffs though the actual melodies played by Amorphis are different in style, and I'm sure there's a bit of Celtic Frost in "The Sign from the North Side". The vocals are the deep, guttural style, and the double bass drums are used more to enhance the feeling of speed in the faster moments. With song titles like "Black Embrace" and "The Lost Name of God" you might wonder about any black metal influence in the roots of the band. The production of the main album is good enough for an early nineties, metal debut, the EP tracks sounded a little rougher.

The album is a good listen overall, though I found that even after three or four times through I wasn't checking out any song titles. That's because the songs, which pack various riffs, styles, and tempo changes in each song, end up becoming not so obviously distinguishable from one another. They each play like a mini version of the album. When you hear the guitar melody at the end of "The Pilgrimage" followed by the guitar melody in "Misery Path", you could be easily misled into thinking it was the same song sped up a little.

For that reason, "The Karelian Isthmus" is a good enough album to listen to but doesn't have any truly outstanding tracks. I could recommend "Vulgar Necrolatry" as the song to listen to but really nearly any track is a good introduction to the album.

I have listened to some of the band's later material and they have really evolved their sound drastically. Comparing "Sky Forger" to this album, you'd think they were two entirely different bands!

A good album for slower, more complex death metal with elements of doom and also melodic riffs. Three solid stars!

AMORPHIS Under The Red Cloud

Album · 2015 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland
Formed in Helsinki in 1990, Amorphis have moved from being a death metal act to one that has incorporated many different styles and textures. A song could be “straight” death metal, but also containing flute, or a rock song could be based around a piano and acoustic guitar, with a low baritone vocal instead of a gruff death growl. So, they have become a band that are masters of many sounds, and in 2015, they kicked off the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of ‘Tales From The Thousand Lakes’. Although they were touring hard, they kept retuning to the studio to write and record their twelfth album with famed producer Jens Bogren (Soilwork, Kreator etc.) etc.) at his Fascination Street Studio in Örebro. The result of this two-month recording session was once again a heavy, melodic statement, called ‘Under The Red Cloud.’ During the recordings, the sextet was joined by some famous guest musicians: Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie) played flutes on “The Four Wise Ones”, “Death Of A King” and “Tree Of Ages”, Martin Lopez (ex-Opeth) provided percussion on “Death Of A King” while Aleah Stanbridge (Trees of Eternity) sang guest vocals on “The Four Wise Ones”, “Sacrifice” and “White Night”.

The result of a band prepared to experiment, a producer who knows how to capture the best of guys prepared to play loud and hard, plus additional guest musicians, resulted in an album that is very special indeed. It is no surprise to see that they consequently toured with Nightwish and Arch Enemy on the same bill, as they are the perfect link between the two. They always maintain a high level of melody, and move between different genres (often within the same song), so that they can drop from folk metal into melodic death into metal and then even move into something softer if that is where the music takes them.

Released in September 2015, the album was viewed as a great success, with their first ever chart entry in United Kingdom and Australia, as well as their highest ever entries in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and France. In August 2016, at ‘An Evening With Friends’ at the Helsinki Festival in Huvila, the band performed a very special set list with guest musicians and friends “We were honored to take part in the Helsinki Festival in Huvila, so therefore we wanted to do something special for that particular night,” states guitarist Tomi Koivusaari. “The gig itself happened in a large tent in the very centre of Helsinki on a late summer evening. The Huvila-tent has quite long history, so there was already some excitement in the air beforehand. We wanted to invite some guests to be featured on that show - musicians we already had worked with during these years and musicians we have a huge respect for, so Sakari Kukko, Pekko Käppi and Anneke van Giersbergen joined us on that evening with friends. Originally, Aleah Starbridge was supposed to join as well, as she sang on the ‘Under The Red Cloud’ album, but sadly she passed away before that. It was surely a night to remember!”. These shows are now part of the new tour edition, as the original album »now has two additional bonus songs as well as the live tracks from Helsinki.

The live set starts acoustic guitar, violin, saxophone and piano, and one really does have to stop and realise that this is/was a death metal act. The vocals are certainly not one would expect from a band of that genre. This was a special night, and any time I can listen to Anneke van Giersbergen perform is going to be alright with me! This was already an excellent album, and the additional CD has ensured that those who haven’t already purchased this need to rush out and get it now, if not sooner.

AMORPHIS Circle

Album · 2013 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Necrotica
There's a number of bands who do the whole "discography consistency" shtick very well. Those very bands won't push themselves outside their comfort zone a great deal, but have a strong fanbase who's willing to defend them every step of the way; Amorphis happens to be one of those bands. When you pick up an Amorphis record, you usually know what to expect: melodic death metal with elements of doom metal, folk, and progressive rock. That's been their sound for years, and they haven't seemed to be changing things up very much. This brings us to their newest release, Circle; I'll just say it now... if you're expecting the band's big 180 turn that surprises everyone and brings in a boatload of new fans, you might be pretty disappointed. However, if you want an extremely consistent and expertly-crafted set of melodic metal tunes, stick around.

Though again revolving around the melo-death/doom/prog/folk formula, Amorphis do bring some new things to the table. The most noticeable element they place their emphasis on is the bombast; the expansive nature of Circle is just breath-taking at moments. Take the first thing you hear, "Shades of Gray," as an example; the record immediately lays a thick symphonic atmosphere as the song begins to assume a crawling doom-oriented tempo. It reminds me a lot of a more string-based version of "Greed" from the band's fourth effort Tuonela; a similar melody and style dominates the song, but with a bit more "oomph," if that makes sense. The reason for this is that this song, and the album as a whole, cut out a good chunk of the filler of previous Amorphis records. Despite the aforementioned bombastic sound of the record, the melodies are more fleshed out and the little details never get in the way of the structures of these songs. For instance, "Mission" is one of the shortest songs on the record and yet feels more accomplished than many of the group's past efforts. Beginning with an absolutely gorgeous melancholic piano introduction, the song transitions extremely fluidly to the triumphant riff that follows said intro. The clean vocals only add to this darkly lovely atmosphere while the piano makes a nice return in a sort of bridge that appears a little more than halfway in. Stuff like that is what makes this album work; the band combine little nuances with "epic" metal music to create something that's more cohesive and balanced than the sum of its parts.

That's not to say the band have lost any heaviness in their sound; in fact, many of these songs are even heavier than expected. "Hopeless Days" pummels the listener with a percussive guitar assault that's combined with slow-moving drum work similar to "Shades of Gray." The melodic chorus retains this heaviness while having the same climactic soaring vocals you'd generally expect from the band. That, and the growling is GREAT. Tomi Joutsen really outdid himself in the vocal department on this one, and the growling is no exception. My personal favorite songs in terms of his death growls are "Enchanted by the Moon" and "Nightbird's Song"; the former mixes Joutsen's deep devilish growling with a thick riff that's played over a swing-style drumbeat. "Nightbird's Song" both the clean and harsh vocals together over one of the more complex compositions on the record. Joutsen gets the tone just right; he utilizes whichever style fits the mood best, and you can tell that he knew what he was doing.

The most obvious flaw of this record is how predictable it is. There's no going around the fact that these guys know how to cater to their fans, but one must wonder when enough is enough and the group might have to alter their sound a bit. While this record is very well done, there is indeed a distinct feeling of "been-there-done-that" that's hard to ignore; Circle simply sounds like a refined edition of past glories. However, while this formula worked almost flawlessly for an album like Dead End Kings by Katatonia, this one is lacking something that's hard to describe, and it can't be given anything above my 4.0 rating because of it. Maybe it's in the riffs or the instrumentation, but it'd be nice for Amorphis to be a tad more ambitious with their future work. Sure, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," but it still seems like Amorphis could add a few more tricks the next time around. As it stands though, Circle is definitely worth the investment. It's got great melodies, a nice dark atmosphere, good quiet sentimental passages, and a sense of bombast that's more than welcome for a band like this. If you like melodic death metal, progressive metal, folk, or all three together, give this a listen.

AMORPHIS Elegy

Album · 1996 · Progressive Metal
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Warthur
After Tales From the Thousand Lakes, Amorphis underwent a substantial gear change, shifting from the melodic death metal that had been the foundation of their sound to a more progressive and folk-oriented metal sound. Elegy is the sound of that gear change in progress, with the clean vocals provided by Pasi Koskinen being one of the more obvious symptoms of it; the jarring nature of the shift is exacerbated by lead-off track, Better Unborn, showcasing many of the more accessible elements of Amorphis' new sound.

There's an interesting mingling of influences in here, with the folk stuff extending to a sudden outbreak of polka at the midway point of the album on Cares. But precisely because the band are juggling so many different new ingredients of their sound, they end up producing something which sounds a bit jumbled and incoherent. They certainly no longer sound like the Amorphis of their previous two albums, but they aren't quite the Amorphis of their future career yet, leaving them in limbo.

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The T 666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
One of the best bands in all metal!

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