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Awesome album - 94%

failsafeman, March 25th, 2005

This album has already been well covered by previous reviewers, so I'll keep this pretty short. Amorphis do a fine job on this album, and manage to whip out some good melodies, sometimes rather Egyptian/eastern sounding, while still being quite brutal. They generally stay in the slow to midpaced range, and are even kind of doomy at times. The guitars have some cool harmonized parts now and then, which are great and not over done like certain *other* death metal bands. The guitars aren't always just playing together, either, as they sometimes play different but interconnecting parts. Though nothing they play is overly technical, the song structures are pretty progressive, and the riffs are plentiful. In parts the atmosphere they create is really powerful, making one think of abandoned wastelands, the mouldering remains of huge battles, and the like. There are still some good headbanging moments, though, so don't think this is just a snoozefest. The only thing really missing are some nice shredding guitar solos, which at the right moment really would have added something, but the meldoic lead parts are fine. The production is nice, and though the bass could be a little louder, it's actually audible unlike many other death metal releases of the time.

Like I said above, none of the musicians are really virtuosos (virtuosi?), but they're all competent and the songwriting makes up for any perceived lack of talent. Any fan of death metal ought to be able to get into this one pretty quick. This is melodic death metal the way it should be, with the "death metal" part still intact.