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Amorphis is a well renowned underground death metal band from Finland that started in 1990. As of more recent years, Amorphis went into a more mainstream stage of music (before recently returning to their death metal roots with new singer Tomi Joutsen. Their album Far From the Sun is too Amorphis as the near classic album Damnation is to Opeth. Fueled with almost 100 percent clean vocals and heavy metal elements mixed with hard rock melodies, Far From the Sun is still a great album for any heavy metal user (though may be somewhat of a disappointment to die hard old Amorphis fans). Amorphis is well known for their lyrics and musical style that both dwell in the concept of the popular Finnish national epic, the Kalevala (like the way Nile dwells in the concept of Egyptian mythology). This album was recorded with Amorphis' original singer Pasi Koskinen.
Day Of Your Beliefs starts off the album with an ascending melody of guitar work before jumping into a catchy rock riff that brings to mind something from the Arabian Nights. The vocals come in and add a unique sound to the already unique melody of the track. The vocalist reminds me of Jonas Renkse of Katatonia mixed with a punk singer in this song (along with most of the songs on the album). A great opening track, with a great guitar solo, epical sounds and powerful breakdowns along with a catchy chorus. Planetary Misfortune is another great track with powerful Arabian Night sounding guitar riffs and melodies. The vocals are a lot more raspy sounding in this song then the last track, but fit better with the heavy wall of metal fueled hard rock riffs. Not as catchy as the previous song, but has avery unique groove to it that is hard to forget.
The most popular song on the album, Evil Inside, sounds like what you would get if you mixed Opeth with a band like Nickelback, only the outcome is a lot better then you would expect it to be. The song has a great guitar melody and bass groove and some very well executed vocals that deliver another catchy tune in the listener's ear. The song also has a guitar solo that, frankly, pwns anything Nickelback could ever hope to accomplish. Mourning Soul begins with a very mystic sounding ambiance that creates a soft atmosphere, and when the drums and guitar come in with a soft bas groove, it becomes apparent that the song is going to be somewhat of a softy compared to the other tracks so far. The track is the first song on the album that fails to impress me in any form outside the cool keyboard/ ambient intro.
The album titled track, Far From the Sun, begins with a very quick guitar melody into before going into some sweeping guitar riffs and melodic vocals. The song is sort of a softer track, like the previous, only slightly better, though nothing of major impressment. The guitar work and breakdowns n the song give it a much stronger atmosphere then the last track did in it's clean melody. Etheral Solitude finally brings back some of the metal into the music again. After an atmospheric ascending intro, the song goes into a mellow groove a drum beat, and after some vocals that make them sound like they're trying to imitate the Smashing Pumpkins, the guitars go into a heavy wall of soft riffs that are at least heavy enough to be called metal.
Killing Goodness starts with a very groove driven guitar riff before jumping into a heavy hard rock fueled metal number that redeems from the last several tracks. The track is a lot faster then the last few and has some great guitar solos and catchy riffs, though rather poor lyrics. Not the best song on the album, but definitely a redemption from the increasing softness of the last couple of tracks. God Of Deception begins with an ambient keyboard intro and soft, soothing vocals followed by a heavy drum line. The song then ascends into a great hard rock tune with catchy grooves and keyboard background that doesn't fail to impress. The song also has some more great guitar solos that manage to slice through the heavy riffs.
Higher Ground is another epical feeling track with ascending keyboard, acoustic guitar, and ambient riffs, building up into a very strong atmosphere. Electric guitars kick in with a catchy groove before bursting into a heavy wall of almost doom metalish guitar riffs. The song then has a breakdown into melodious vocal bridge before going into more upbeat heavy guitar riffs and hard rock vocals. The song is the longest track on the album (only 5 and a half minutes), but has the most epical feel to it, and is a big standout on the album. Smithereens begins with guitar and keyboard melodious working to make a rather apocalyptic, in some manner, atmosphere, before silencing into a vocal solo with quiet riffs in the back ground. Another ballad like track, but a lot stronger then the other poorly made 'ballads' on the album, with better guitar solos and catchy choruses.
The next track, Shining Turns To Grey, is probably the most straight foreword hard rock track on the album. With little breakdown time until the end, constantly delivering upbeat heavy riffs. The song still manages to end of a soft and melodic note. Follow Me Into The Fire is another heavy, metal fueled groove song. The song has some great musicianship, though the vocals get a tad boring on the song. The music makes up though, with great guitar and bass melodies, heavy riffs, and strong drum work. Not one of the best songs, but has a musical dominance over most of the other tracks. Darkrooms is much like its previous two tracks in it's heavy hard rock power grooves and riffs. Again the vocals are kinda boring, but the powerful musicianship overall saves the track from utter failure. Nothing else really new with this song.
Dreams Of The Damned may not be the best ballad track on the album, but it does have one of the best intros and guitar melodies over the entire album. With a powerful ascending intro and dynamic ending, the song is a perfect closer for the album. Even the vocals make a come back as far as not being mono and boring like a lot of the other tracks. The official last track on the album is an acoustic version of the song Far From the Sun, which is no different then the original, only played with acoustic guitars (of course). Thus ending this above average album of hard rock fueled metal made from death metal minds. I still think Amorphis should stick with the old school death doom that they used to do.
THIS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR SPUTNIKMUSIC.COM