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Two sides of Amorphis join for melancholic hymns - 97%

kluseba, November 14th, 2011

The second record of the new Amorphis era featuring the brilliant new singer Tomi Joutsen focuses a lot more on an emotional atmosphere as the more diversified "Eclipse". Amorphis are able to create a very melancholic mood somewhere between sadness, aggression and mystery that carries on over the full album length. The record is darker than the previous one and also heavier as growls are much more present than on the records before which could please to fans of the band's early years. But once again the band reinvented itself and created something new and addicting. This release is also one of the band's most epic releases.

The song that represents best the album is probably "The White Swan", a beautiful Finnish tale featuring a haunting and emotional chorus, amazing melody lines, soft and dreamy clean vocals as well as technically amazing growls that go straight in your face. The amazing cover artwork fits a lot two the song even if this swan is rose red. This track will really touch you.

On the other side, fans of the previous and calmer records will still find some elements of the recent past on this album. "Her Alone" and especially the calm title track "Silent Waters" is an enchanting ballad for melancholic autumn mornings and lives from its amazing vocal performance. More folk orientated calm tracks as the diversified "I Of CRimson Blood", the calm and beautiful folk ballads "Enigma" and "Shaman" or the progressive piano ballad "Black River" that closes the record on a high note remind somewhat of the middle years of the band and are able to recreate the majesty of "Tuonela" without exactly copying it as the band has evolved since and features a new singer.

The heavier tracks as the solid but not exceptional "A Servant", the modern and very floating album highlight and live favourite "Towards And Against" or the surprisingly straight opener "Weaving The Incantation" represent the other side of Amorphis. Nevertheless, the opener features already more ides in only five minutes than other bands include on entire albums. We have some sweet choirs, some almost thrash orientated riffs, a longing chorus that opposes despaired clean vocals to heavier vocals that are not exactly growls but just one step underneath this singing style. The progressive break in the middle of the song featuring some keyboard and guitar harmonies is also priceless before the song gets back to a heavier part with some growls over a strange discordant solo and a harmonious passage.

Once again, Amorphis are over the top creative. The two sides of the band, light and dark, fusion perfectly on this melancholic and intense output.

I didn't really expect that this release would beat the great previous "Eclipse" which was my first contact with this unique Finnish metal masters but from an objective point of view "Silent Waters" sounds more emotional, coherent and is still almost as diversified as the previous release. This band never ceases to surprise after all these years and this record underlines their unique status in a perfect way. There is not a single truly weak track on this record and this release will easily grow on you. I still think that records such as "Tales From The Thousand Lakes", "Am Universum" or the recent "The Beginning Of Times" have this little kick of genius that distinguishes them as nearly perfect releases from this very great record but this album is nevertheless in my top five of the band's release and quite on the same quality level as "Tuonela".