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Pulling Together - 81%

OzzyApu, May 1st, 2013

The very next year, Amorphis puts out another album that I believe lives vicariously through the success of Eclipse. I wanted more of that, and Silent Waters does enough to deliver. The same can be said about Skyforger, The Beginning Of Times, and Circle, the three albums after this. Yeah, the band stuck to this formula for quite a while. I believe they only hit big with this formula every other album, so Silent Waters takes the hit in terms of general cohesion and brilliance.

From Esa's eclectic leads on "A Servant" to Koivusaari's lurching riffs on the title track and to the adoring melodies on "I Of Crimson Blood," this album's got its unadulterated Amorphis with this modern twist. The clean, rich production works well to enhance the band's tight performances and the album's chunky tone. Best is heard on "Towards And Against" (probably the poppiest song on here) where Rechberger rules the rhythm with his catchy beats and the riffing is on fire. Adding to this is the atmosphere - dark, looming, and accompanied by Joutsen's monstrous, bulky growls (his morose cleans are just as good).

A few songs could have been left off this album. At its core are seven solid tracks that do well to make up a collection of remarkable, enjoyable songs. The best the band has to offer are on these songs, like Esa's echoing harmonies and Joutsen's warm, resonant clean singing. Look no further than the four-track streak of success from "A Servant" through "I Of Crimson Blood". Mesmeric, varied songs like these show the band depicting that cross of old, proggressive Amorphis and the older, melodic death Amorphis while carrying it further into its own sound. Other tracks like the inelegant opener, the overly long "Her Alone," and the monumentally boring "Enigma" are dips in this album that kill the momentum. They lack the same power and / or excitement, along with the writing that makes the rest of these songs terrific and opulent. Every song here has easy standards for hooks and choruses, so hearing songs that don't live up to that makes the album feel padded.

I love the album, but I'm not such a fanboy as to overlook its flaws. It's got spirit and the band's in the right mindset, continuing what Eclipse did while honing it to fit thematically. Those are a couple strengths, plus it's got the structure to support a collection of great songs. It's less of an outstanding album because of the tracks that take me out of the experience, but I wouldn't dismiss the core greatness here. For the same genuine heaviness and coolness of modern Amorphis, any of these later albums will do.