Amorphis are a well known band from Finland, that started out as a Death / Doom Metal band and moved on to Melodic Death Metal through the timeline of their career. In their recent avatar, Amorphis have adopted the Modern Metal approach to the music, i.e, heavy and complex riffs accentuated by melodic and clean vocals. They are known to bring a lot progression to their sound with the use of folk instruments and for the quality that they maintain in their releases.
Their 11th studio album titled ‘Circle’ is set to be released on 19th April 2013, through Nuclear Blast Records. This album stands apart from the other albums in the fact that the lyrics are not inspired from the Finnish national epic, ‘Kalevala’. Rather, here they focus on an original concept developed by the band.
The first few tracks of the album like ‘Shades Of Grey’ and ‘Mission’ start off the album in a very strong note and lay high expectations for the rest of the album. But somewhere down the line, the songs sound repetitive and the writing sounds stale.
There are however, a few gems hidden in this album. In the song ‘Narrowpath’, the band burst out with a folksy number which start out with some wood flutes. The guitar solo on this track is folk heavy and very fresh sounding. The clean vocals dominate through most of the record and in the long run, the melodic elements seem a bit too repetitive. ‘Nightbird’s Song’, sees the band treading into the black metal territory. The reappearance of harsh vocals is a breath of fresh air that the album desperately needs.
Other than these aforementioned tracks, the rest of the tracks get boring on repeated listens. This album has very few reasons that compels repeated listens. Musically, the album is good, with dominating clean vocals and heavy melody.
The production on this album is top notch. What else can be expected with someone as legendary as Peter Tägtgren handling the production and mixing? The only factor that lets this album down is the writing itself. Amorphis struggle hard to make the songs convincing and enjoyable. Alas, their efforts go in vain, because, for most part, this is a boring album.
Long time fans of the band will probably enjoy this album because it is Amorphis. However, this wont help them win over some new fans. Had this been a four song EP, it would have been more enjoyable. The long length and the sense of repetitiveness drag this album down.