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While not quite as convincing as the two previous releases (Tuonela and Am Universum), Far From The Sun is far from disappointing. While the two previous major releases show the band experimenting with various sounds and musical arrangements, Far From The Sun strips away a few of those elements and leaves more place to breathe for more traditional musicianship. This more conventional approach has its advantages: the guitars and music seems a bit clearer and easier to… digest. Unfortunately, it misses a certain “something” which made Amorphis who they are in the first place. Dare-say, the album seems a bit… bored. Not boring. But bored. It seems like they’ve lost their direction somehow and are a bit confused about what to do. This hypothesis is encouraged by the fact that this is the last Amorphis album with Pasi Koskinen handling vocal duties (their 2006 full length features Tomi Joutsen on that side).
Well, regardless, this is definitely a good album. Definitely. It took me some time to start feeling into it, associating the music with a song title, but it happened after a few listens. “God Of Deception”, “Far From The Sun”, “Smithereens” and “Evil Inside” are clear highlights, but none of the other songs are unworthy of listening. It isn’t an album where I would skip a song in the playlist. If it’s worth buying, yes, it is. But if you want only one or two disks from Amorphis, I would stick with Eclipse and Elegy or Tuonela.
I think the title of the album is quite well chosen. There are no screams during the 44 minutes of music (same as with Am Universum) and it seems even softer than anything Amorphis did in the past. This is the furthest step Amorphis has ever taken from their roots and I think they were aware of this when they named the album. And in this line of thought, maybe we can suppose that they were quite ok with this direction, as the lyrics of Far From The Sun (the song) say… “I walk away now from you, and your sun, it goes down from you, as I walk, away now from you, far, from your Sun”. There’s a feeling of careless relaxation in the album and even confused as they may have been, I’m sure they enjoyed creating this release, regardless of how down-tempo it might seem. Even so, listening to Far From The Sun is a very nice experience, especially with the volume pumped up high. A good and talented band will sound great even in their lower points of their career.