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Avoid the title track and you'll be fine - 63%

MaDTransilvanian, May 22nd, 2009

The history of Amorphis’ music is a unique one indeed. Between the band’s first few heavily doom and death metal-inspired efforts and their more recent albums (Eclipse and beyond) lies the realm of mid-era Amorphis, a series of albums of incredibly variable quality, containing both the worst clunkers this band has ever written and some interesting masterpieces. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the eve of the band’s Tomi Joutsen-incited 2006 renewal, when the Far From The Sun album and the singles surrounding it were created. One of these singles is Evil Inside, consisting of the title track, Shining Turns To Gray and Follow Me Into Fire.

This short release starts of with Evil Inside, which is the third and quite possibly also the worst song from the Far From The Sun album. First off, one notices the awful first riff, an attempt at being slow and heavy which ends up being, well, laughable. The opening verse from vocalist Pasi Koskinen is actually good and, for a moment, you feel as though there’s hope for the song after all. Then the bad riffs start all over again and the chorus hits, dragging on like this for another few minutes until this 4 minute catastrophe of a song is over. I can’t fathom why the band chose this song to be released as a single since the album contains plenty of much better numbers such as Mourning Soil and, well, each and every other song actually.

Fortunately from here on out the single becomes much better. Shining Turns to Grey starts with a solid, groovy riff with a certain electronic element behind it which immediately makes this song memorable. Sadly, Pasi’s vocals are rather whiny and bland on here but the instrumental work more than makes up for his shortcoming. There’s even a nice solo in the latter half of the song. It’s nothing overly technical or anything, just a very good, slow-paced guitar solo which the band pulls off very well. Following this song is the true masterpiece on this single: Follow Me Into Fire. The song starts off rather unremarkably, with some decent riffs and Pasi’s spoken vocals which are also good enough, then the chorus begins, revealing the song to be the true highlight here.

Follow Me Into Fire
Reveal the soul ablaze
Swallow me into fire
There's no time to wait

Say what you will about Pasi’s vocals, he performs this song and especially this chorus with an incredible amount of talent and passion. His vocals suit the slow nature of the track perfectly, and the whole band’s style of playing coalesces here into what truly is a great whole. Follow Me Into Fire is evidence of the band’s still existent doom metal spirit, hidden somewhere rather deep but resurfacing every now and then, with impressive results.

The lyrics throughout the three songs are very well written, matching the band’s music in terms of melancholy and all feelings associated, be they loneliness, loss, pain, longing or even anger.

In the end this single is something of a mixed bag. On one side you have the weak elements, most noticeably the title track which is the number one weakness here. However, the two other tracks are great; especially Follow Me Into Fire, which is a complete masterpiece. Its presence alone would warrant acquisition of this single; otherwise both B-side songs exist on some reissues of the Far From The Sun album.