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I want to love this album. Why? Since the year 1996, when I turned 13 years old and got “Elegy” as a birthday present by my brother, Amorphis as a band has been a sign of success for me. While they let the music slip a little with the albums between, it was last years “Eclipse” which raised the band to their highest peak music-wise so far. Here I sit on my bed, spinning through “Silent Waters” for the 10th or 11th time, and I can’t but feel a little bit sad about the fact that it’s not exactly what I hoped for. Maybe it’s because they released a new album so soon after last years masterpiece, but this is not a good release as such. The content doesn’t stray far from “Eclipse”. It’s in the same sport, but not the same league. While the album may sound pretty much equal judging from the production and mixing matters, this one is simply weaker in structure.
What we’ve got is basically three very good songs, two okay, and six totally worthless pieces of shit (counting the bonus track “Sign”, which fits best into the last category). That’s it. While the six fuck-ups may or may not contain good or bad parts, I will simply call them “shit”, because I do not like them one bit. “Weaving the Incantation” starts the album off in an old-fashioned way. Merciless guitars, powerfully executed vocals and a sad chorus turn it into a good track. Very good actually. The main guitar melody in the chorus mixed with the perfection of Mr. Joutsen’s clean vocals makes the sad themed listening process hard to pass through without shedding a tear. It’s reminiscent of their earlier works, and it sure gets your hopes up for nothing. “A servant” is shit! It tries to be catchy, but comes out rather dull and bland. Joutsen tries to sound more like a tough guy than a harmonic singer, the solo guitar makes up very weak melodies along the way, and the whole thing is a disaster. The title-track does very little to heighten the mood, but it’s still a lot better than the abomination that is “A servant”. A slow tune was probably needed here anyway, but it lacks the extra something Amorphis usually deliver with style. “Towards and against” features really good parts, which reminds one of action movies. The theme works, it’s new and refreshing as well as challenging for the listener. This is something not all fans will appreciate, but I for one think it’s great. The worst streak has to be in the middle of the record, when four slow tracks in a row drags your listening innovation down to sub zero. From the first second of “I of crimson blood” to the last chord of “Shaman” I find myself in disgust. The only exception is “Enigma” which actually tries to sound more like Blind Guardian than is necessary, but brings something to my ears I can’t resist but to call “good”. “The White Swan” is hands down the best song on the album. This brings out the emotion and dedication the guys in Amorphis are known for. As they show us; beautiful melodies, morose vocal lines, and an uplifting atmosphere are the ingredients to perfection. The joy ends here, though. “Black river” is totally unnecessary; they should’ve left this one out. It is way out of place since it doesn’t really do anything, and should be considered as filler.
The statement I made in the beginning of this review quickly turns into a question mark. I wanted to love this album? Now most of you should know why I don’t. As sad as I may be that my idols didn’t release another magnum opus, I’m glad it at least exists. I wouldn’t want them to quit just yet. Three good songs out of eleven is better than no songs at all when it comes to a band like this. Don’t buy this album though. It lacks the consistency of “Eclipse”, the melodies to die for of “Elegy”, the folkish aspects of “Tales…”, the progression of “Am Universum” and the continual charm of “Tuonela”. Come to think of it, hadn’t “Far from the sun” existed, I would regard this one as Amorphis’ weakest album yet. But remember, the three good songs are really good, find them, get them, listen to them and embrace the fact that Amorphis isn’t out of the game. It’s hopefully just a phase that will pass ‘til the next album.