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More of the same... no problem - 89%

Napero, May 23rd, 2009

Silver Bride is the first single off the upcoming Amorphis album, Skyforger, and while not quite at infectively catchy as the House of Sleep single, the title song "Silver Bride" still sticks like syphilis in a 14th century european house of royals. It might lie dormant for a while, but it will unavoidably come back once you've been contaminated, and eventually, it will start screwing with the thought processes.

The title track is generally made of the same bits and pieces as everything since the House of Sleep single: a sticky keyboard tune, an effective guitar foundation, and excellent vocal work by Tomi Joutsen. Joutsen's vocals are extremely varied, from growls to very melodic clean singing, and once again, they combine with the sound of the rest of the band in an exquisite way.

This time, the second track, "Separated", will not appear on the european/US basic or digipack versions of Skyforger, and there is a reason for that. It's not quite what the other singles since House of Sleep have been, and brings back memories from further back in time, perhaps even going back to the days of Tales from the Thousand Lakes. It gives a rare, fleeting glimpse back in time, and while that is an opportunity, the obvious discrepancy between "Separated" and the rest of the album is too obvious to be dismissed. It remains to be seen how well the japanese market will be served by the inclusion of the tune on their local version of Skyforger.

Silver Bride is a logical continuation of the new kind of Amorphis, launched on the Eclipse and milked ever since, but it's even more. The music essentially goes back to the days of Tuonela and even beyond, and in the greater songwriting-based picture, the continuum doesn't break at any point... it merely bends and twists, scraping the bottom on Far from the Sun and soaring again like a swallow in heat on Eclipse. There's nothing new under (or far from) the Sun, and it must be admitted that that doesn't cause any problems. The music is still excellent, and even if the average has again moved a few steps further from the metal roots, the extreme professionalism and particularly the incredible live performances by the band are worth cherishing.

A single is just a single, but based on the tracks released by the band on the Amorphis MySpace page, the promise made here will be cashed in full on Skyforger.