Amorphis – Queen Of Time
Label: Nuclear Blast
Reviewed: June 2018
Reviewer: Mr. MetalGuy
Amorphis definitely embody the traditional spelling and meaning of their name, being essentially formless. These Finns have been getting plain damn weird with Metal for over 20 years, far from their beginnings as a straight Death Metal band and, even then, they were a force to be reckoned with. Leaving aside the mysticism associated with many of their lyrics, birthed from various interpretations of the Finnish epic poem The Kalevala, Amorphis continually reinvent themselves, and their sound, to the very core on each release while at the same time being familiar and comfortable and, above all, challenging. We sit at the feet of newest adventure, “Queen of Time,” and seek to understand her secrets.
Amorphis push boundaries. Once again, they incorporate saxophone into their sound as well as using real strings, pipes, and various other decidedly non-metal alloys to communicate their unique vision. I am confident the cover art for “Queen of Time” will reveal a ship if I stare at it long enough. The production here is huge, lush like uncorrupted forest, and just as expansive. “Queen of Time” is a headphone record, stop playing it on your computer speakers.
At this stage of the game to call Amorphis a purely metal band is a misnomer as they eschew convention at every turn – with every bended string and harsh vocal something utterly beautiful is birthed. Within the deeper recesses of “Queen of Time” the listener will find nods mostly to progressive music but also the sly insertion of synthesizer, Finnish instruments, and so much bombastic epicness that the album itself demands multiple listens to fully comprehend and even then, there are more treasures to discover.
A track by track analysis is neither wanted nor warranted, as “Queen of Time” functions best as an exercise in losing oneself in the sound and in the varying moods it possesses. I believe, like most of the band’s work, that the album is a concept piece. Something about a bee, some wandering, some realizations. All told, “Queen of Time” only increases the value of Amorphis to metal and also to their native Finland. The album is a triumph in a line of triumphs, and not to be missed. I should probably go listen to it again.