It’s no secret in the rock and metal community that one of the best breeding grounds for heavier music is Finland; household names such as NIGHTWISH, CHILDREN OF BODOM and TURISAS have all hailed from this Heavy Metal holy land. AMORPHIS are also on this list of legends; they are one of the more intriguing bands on this list as their sound has gone through many developments over the past couple of decades. Their thirteenth studio album, Queen Of Time, is an exciting addition to their already thought-provoking discography.
The album kicks of with their single The Bee, this depicts how the smallest thing can have a huge impact on things; it’s a well-known fact that the bee is a small creature but without it, life could end as we know it. The beginning of the track does a great job reminding the listener of a bee with tiny yet impactful arrangements.
Even though the rest of the album has tracks that contain elements of folk, melodic death and progressive metal; these tracks all have one thing in common. The songs have a mix some of the best elements of AMORPHIS; the mix of the clean vocals and the harsh growls along to the melodic yet brutal guitar work and drums. Highlights among these brilliant tracks include Message In The Amber, Heart Of The Giant and Amongst Stars.
The beginning melody to Message In The Amber entices the listener with it’s sweeping beauty. This song balances gentleness and brutality very well; you have the tender verses with Tomi Joutsen’s clean vocals one moment then the sheer ruthlessness from his death growls and distortion in the chorus the next minute. The melody from the beginning done as an acapella arrangement close to the end of the track provides a great touch.
Heart Of The Giant starts off with a progressive doom vibe with it’s atmospheric guitar riff but don’t let that calm atmosphere fool you, not on an AMORPHIS record. The transition from that to the sweeping brutality is fantastic, this will be the track that will most likely cause mosh pits to break out or cause synchronised head banging at their live shows. Amongst The Stars has a folk vibe with it’s uplifting melody played on pipes at the beginning of the track. This song is the physical proof that opposites really do attract; against the uplifting melody provided by the clean vocals, piano and pipes you also get a taste of the brutality from the harsh vocals. It is beautiful and understandable for fans of their death metal sounds, it may take some getting used to but it is a proven gem for fans of their more melodic style.
Overall, Queen of Time is an impeccable record with the perfect mixture of beauty and brutality; it is an intricately put together record containing an array of elements to suit the tastes of a variety of people. It will be welcomed warmly by old and new fans alike.