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After All These Years - 96%

Razakel, June 19th, 2008

Amorphis have always lived up to their name in that they rarely stick to one distinctive style and often change their sound with every album. However, in my opinion, they have never failed to deliver quality music with every release. Their latest effort, Silent Waters, travels somewhere back to their roots and re-explores some darker and heavier territory not present on other recent expeditions.

This album doesn’t break any new ground, per se, but instead it fuses all the different sounds from every past album. This is something many long standing bands don’t do, or at least not as well as Amorphis have. One could argue that Eclipse was their comeback album. But I am of the opinion that Silent Waters took everything Eclipse had and took it to the next level, making a more solid release all around.

Opener, Weaving The Incantation sets a nice pace for the album, a good blend of things to come. This means that it displays both melodic harmonies as well as crushing heaviness. It’s nice to hear new vocalist Joutsen use more death growls on this album, as they were sparse on 2006’s Eclipse. Things keep heavy with A Servant but slow way down with the title track and single. This is a great song, piano, awesome guitar melodies, and excellent clean vocals. Bringing fans back to the Tuonela days. Towards And Against is my favourite song on the album. It is a simply massive tune with a catchy chorus, switching tempos from dark and haunting to heavy and devastating.

Amorphis have achieved a very dark atmosphere with this album. One that we haven’t seen since perhaps as far back as Tales From The Thousand Lakes. This isn’t to say Silent Waters Sounds like Thousand Lakes, but it is their heaviest since Elegy, if that’s what you’re into. Amorphis achieve this atmosphere with excellent piano use, and a range of vocal styles.

Ever since Pasi Koskinen left the band after their worst album in ‘03 there has been much discussion about his replacement. Quite frankly, I find Joutsen a much more capable vocalist. His transitions between singing and death growls are both effortless and flawless as are the executions of both. Definitely one of my favourite vocalists and also my favourite hair!

If you are a fan of anything Amorphis have done, I don’t see how this could disappoint you. Silent Waters is another huge highlight of 2007.