Amorphis - The Beginning of Times (2011)
                                      ©Nuclear Blast Records



  1. Battle For Light
  2. Mermaid
  3. My Enemy
  4. You I Need
  5. Song Of The Sage
  6. Three Words
  7. Reformation
  8. Soothsayer
  9. On A Stranded Shore
  10. Escape
  11. Beginning Of Time
  12. Heart's Song (Bonus Track)

Can you believe that Amorphis has been around since 1990?  Can you believe that the dramatic change in vocalists (Tomi Joutsen replacing Pasi Koivusarri) occurred in 2005?!?  Can you believe that a modern metal band that has been around this long and dealt with so much can still put our enjoyable and listenable music?  Neither can I, but it's true!  Amorphis are back yet again with their 10th studio release (that suitingly sets me up with the pun that they've been around since...) The Beginning Of Times

By far, Amorphis's sound is the most distinctive amongst Finnish metal acts.  Immediately upon introduction you are presented with exactly what you came for.  Those delicious crunchy guitar riffs with wonderful leads and solos. The layered and also leading keys and synth (that establish a thick and alluring atmosphere).  They're still there and are comfortably familiar.  Of course one could not go without mentioning Tomi's vocal contribution.  Be it his soothing clear to is boomingly epic roars, he nails his part in perfect harmony with the instruments.  Each and every band member displays heaps of emotion with an intricately defined and superb performance, production and song writing.  

It would be unfair to gripe about the bands originality as their sound has been well refined and entirely their own.  Perhaps it's the fact that (as Amorphis fans know) the band's songs are mailny based upon Finnish folklore and legends, supplying limitless inspriation.  An inspiration that can come across as a little too inspiring in the sense that things seem to once again be written from the same formula(s).  This may be true but what makes this album so darn enjoyable is that the product is a magnificent presentation of a collection of the band's growth and the expression of all their high points from past and present.  That is, we get a melting pot/blending, of what we've come to love about Amorphis over the years, all balled in to one.

Amorphis has done everything right with The Beginning Of TimesConsidering a fan base of +20 years and a fully functioning formula, they give their faithful followers a little something new while at the same time remaining relevant to new and younger listeners.  Imagine how difficult that would be.  There are (arguably) a few handful of bands out there that can consistently do this and Amophis is one of them.  Yes, it would be nice to see the them take a larger evolutionary/experimentation step,  but I really can't complain.  The apple has not fallen far from the tree and no matter how many times I've done it before, I'll gladly take a another bite.

-  Joel 

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