Featured Events

Coming soon


Album Reviews: 11989
DVD/Blu-ray Reviews: 397
Book Reviews: 401
Interviews: 1740
Concert Reviews: 1435

Share |

Other swag here
metal rules swag

February 2006
Released: 2006, Nuclear Blast Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

It´s been nearly 3 years since Amorphis released their previous album FAR FROM THE SUN. That album also marked a departure of the band´s long-time vocalist Pasi Koskinen who obviously found more pleasure doing his other band called Ajattara. For many, it must have felt like a deathblow for Amorphis, and hence it could rightfully be said by using this heavily worn-out cliche: "What doesn´t kill you, makes you stronger...". The Amorphis -camp took a little break from everything, and when feeling energized enough again, they started to look for a new vocalist for the band. After months of a hard search, a new vocalist for Amorphis was found (outside amongst from over 100 candidates that sent their samples in for the audition) to fill up the big boots Pasi left after his departure from the band. The name of this new Amorphis -vocalist was announced in the end of 2005 - Tomi Joutsen. He has already appeared on the stage with the band for the first time on Saturday January 8th at Nosturi in Helsinki..

So, how is ECLIPSE then, you may skeptically ask? The first song "Two Moons" starts off the show with the new Amorphis -vocalist in the ranks, and it’s a relatively breathtaking opener indeed! A rather psychedelic keyboard part, lots of sheer grooviness and heaviness, added with Tomi´s strong and surprisingly ranged vocal parts, are the first good signs to expect a killer new album from these cherishers of the Finnish national opus called "The Kalevala"; or that´s what they used to be.

The next song "House of Sleep" is plain Amorphis to that point ´til Tomi opens his mouth for the first time, reminding me of... guess what? Surprise... the Finnish Gothic rockers Charon, believe it or not! It actually sounds a very ´anti-Amorphis-like´, and mostly because of Tomi´s input for his vocal parts. I´m a tad too confused to say what to think of it as a Amorphis -tune, even if the chorus of the song especially is what really catches your attention and puts you humming the song without you even noticing it.

"Leave Scars" could be considered sort of a ´back-to-the-roots-Amorphis´ -song, done in a true Amorphis -fashion, introduces Tomi´s skills as a Death Metal growler, and one of the highlights on ECLIPSE for any fans of the first two Amorphis -albums. Oddly, all the instrumentation being presented in this particular tune, brings some later Moonsorrow -stuff to my mind - having a flute, acoustic guitar and a truckload of heavy guitars rollin´ mercilessly in the background. Tomi is at least as good with his deep death grunts as the band´s another Tomi who did this growling thing on Amorphis´ THE KARELIAN ISTHMUS and TALES FROM THE THOUSAND LAKES albums - if not even better.

"Born from Fire" follows a true Amorphis -tradition again, sounding very much like any typical Amorphis song i.e. having lots to do with mellow and melancholic parts - and overall just proving to be recognized as a well penned down Amo -song. Too bad these promo copies of the album don´t have full tracks, but only 2 or 3-minute clips. Once you really start jamming the song, it´s over before you even realize it.

"Under a Soil and Black Stone", which has a beautiful piano beginning, turns out be a pretty safe - and familiar sounding Amo -tune, too, with an enchanting, really mind-sticking riffs dominating the song for the most part.

"Perkele (The God of Fire)" is the album´s most brutal and heaviest effort, Tomi spicing it up nicely with his spine-chilling death grunt delivery. He sounds like he truly enjoys doing these low and deep death growls, similar to what they had on the band´s first 2 albums. Quite an unbelievable dude he is, with a good range of voices he´s capable of producing out of his lungs.

"The Smoke" continues the same well-known tradition where these Finnish masters of melancholy are really good at; i.e. being able to bring out all these ingredients what most of us have always loved in Amorphis. Their sharp sense for some truly undying yet sensitive melodies is unbeatable. "Same Flesh" belongs rightfully to the very same category in which Marko Hietala´s (that Tarot/Nightwish vocal talent) signature-like background vocals are blended a fine way together with Tomi´s vocal performance again.

The very beginning of "Brother Moon" on the other hand is reminiscent of Finntroll´s acoustic song, but then soon those already familiar and safe Amo -elements start stealing space in the song structure. Good song all in all, just offering Amorphis at best the way a devoted Amo- fan assumable wants to hear from his/her favorite metal band. Musically, this song could well be one of those ´extra´ songs that the Amorphis -troops recorded during the ELEGY album sessions.

The album´s closer tune titled "Empty Opening" also has a kind of trademark´ish Amo -sound in it with a well-recognized, Amo guitar sound - full of sheer melancholy altho especially the chorus part has a nice Sentenced-esque flavor in it which shouldn´t be considered any crime for them.

And finally come these mandatory ´summa summarum´ words:

Honestly, at first I had pretty mixed feelings about this new Amorphis album mainly because of getting used to their new singer. Don´t read me wrong, tho. The new singer Tomi sounds really good, talented and all that - and he´s got a great voice - that´s for sure, but I still prefer Pasi´s voice as overall it was kind of more fitting to Amorphis´ sound. Pasi´s voice was really different, and it´s more unique and original compared to Tomi´s. As said previously, Tomi has been gifted by a great voice, and without a doubt it surely appeals to many. On the other hand, his vocalism also sounds a more mainstream which brings down uniqueness of Amorphis a little bit. However, whether he sits well with the sound of Amorphis, it will remain for every fan of this band privilege to decide in the end, I guess.

On ECLIPSE Amorphis sounds fresh, energized and newly-born, and it could be declared that ECLIPSE falls into the same catogory together with TALES and ELEGY albums as one of their most pleasing and strongest works in their whole career. So sincerely congratz Amorphis, quite hell of an album you have made!
Track Listing

01. Two Moons
02. House of Sleep
03. Leaves Scar
04. Born from Fire
05. Under a Soil and Black Stone
06. Perkele (the God of Fire)
07. The Smoke
08. Same Flesh
09. Brother Moon
10. Empty Opening
11. Stone Woman (Bonus Track)


Tomi Joutsen - Vocals
Tomi Koivusaari - Guitar
Esa Holopainen - Guitar
Niclas Etelävuori - Bass
Santeri Kallio - Keyboards
Jan Rechberger - Drums

Next review: » Battlelore - Third Age of the Sun
Previous review: » American Dog - Foamin’ At The Mouth (Live)

Home | About | Staff | Advertise With Us | Staff Openings | Donations

Content is © 2009-2012 All Rights Reserved.
Graphics by Hammerblaze studio.