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"Tales From The Thousand Lakes" is the second album from Amorphis, and their last album that had a lot more death growls than clean vocals. And in my opinion "Tales From The Thousand Lakes" is the best album Amorphis has ever made, and one of my all time favorite albums.
Music on this album is doomy death metal, with a lot of folkish influences on guitar and keyboard melodies, and there is a little bit progressive elements showing on song structures. Actually the music style has some similarities to Paradise Lost's "Gothic" album, but this one is a lot more folkish, and maybe a bit more melodic. Vocals are still mostly death grunts, but couple of the songs does have a small amount of clean vocals, like "Black Winter Day" and "Into Hiding". All the lyrics are from the book Kalevala, which is the national epic of Finland. And it is a nice change from the more usual metal lyrics, at least in my opinion.
In my opinion Esa Holopainen does his best work on this album. He's guitar playing on this albums is simply amazing, lots of good guitar melodies and some great solos. Also Kasper Mårtenson's keyboard playing is great, sadly this is only Amorphis album with him. Rest of the band does a good job as well, but none of the other members does anything groundbreaking.
Production is far away from a perfect production, but in my opinion it fits to the mood of this album perfectly. Although when I first heard this album, the production sounded a little bit annoying, but after few listens I got used to it. Also every instrument can be heard easily so it isn't that big of a problem.
Anyway "Tales From The Thousand Lakes" is a great album. There really isn't any big faults, only a few bad riffs. I recommend this to anyone who likes death metal or doom metal, there isn't many doomdeath albums that are as good as this.
Highlights: All the songs are great, but best songs in my opinion are "Into Hiding", "Black Winter Day", "Into Hiding" and "Forgotten Sunrise"