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So this is how it all started. Amorphis deliver a very good death metal album with this first strike but there are already signs everywhere to announce us that this band would go further and be able to do something greater in the future. I think that the situation of Therion is quite comparable. Sometimes I think that those brilliant bands have always had many ideas of genius but they had no budget and no fan base to realize them so that they started with something simple and popular to get a little base.
There are already some epic passages, some progressive changes in style, some dome passages in between fast and more aggressive death metal parts that show us the diversity of the band's compositions. This is way more than simple melodic death metal; it's a visionary and courageous record. The album is maybe not as consistent and epic as Therion's "Beyond Sanctorum" but it's not quite far away from that quality either. The album has a constant dark and epic atmosphere and there is no bad song on the whole album even if there is not a song in particular that I could point out as a true highlight either. What I really like about this record is that the growls don't bury the music as it is the case for many ordinary death metal bands. The growls are rather smooth and atmospheric and underline the surprising musical diversity. Even in their humble beginnings, Amorphis simply was like no other band.
Maybe I should mention the atmospheric and epic introduction "Karelia" that leads to the highly diversified and dark "The gathering" that grows more and more on me and that is a really progressive track. The somewhat eerie and slow doom track "The last name of god" shows us the dark side of the band in a very good way. "The exile of the sons of Uisliu" is maybe a good example for the atmospheric part of the band and takes a look at the future style of the band. I really like the howling wind sounds in the middle part and how the band gets this rather short track into a deeply atmospheric killer song.
Let me finally underline you that in comparison to any of those ordinary death metal farts out there, this album would be worth a rating of ninety percent or maybe slightly above but as the band put out so many other great records, I have to slow my enthusiasm a little bit down and try to be objective in regard to the band's future works. If you like progressive death metal and atmospheric doom metal and you would like to see those quite opposite styles united then let me tell you that this epic album here is made for you. This is a great and promising debut album and makes me more and more admire the diversity of old death metal that sadly got lost with bands like Children of Bodom nowadays.