Amorphis – Skyforger

skyforger_kansi  2009 Nuclear Blast

Every so often a band comes along whose greatness can’t be denied.   Amorphis is one of those bands.

Some hardcore fans still pine for the days of “Karelian Isthmus” or “Tales From the Thousand Lakes,” and the latter still stands as my favorite from Amorphis.   Possibly not for long.

Ever since the superb “Eclipse” from just a few years ago, I feel that Amorphis has hit a stride that finds them simply unable to write a weak song.   Their entire catalogue is worth a listen, as they really haven’t ever written a bad album.  Starting out as  pure extreme band with “…Isthmus,” Amorphis has evolved into perhaps the greatest band of their genre.   Their middle years were marked by consistent, though same-ey, releases until they melded the aggression of old with their melodic leanings of new on the aforementioned “Eclipse.”

Since then, they have been on a creative tear with “Silent Waters” and their latest masterpiece “Skyforger.”  The dark beauty and grandeur of this disc is simply beyond my feeble verbal attempts here.  It says a lot when, after following this band for the better part of 15 years, I have to admit that their best music is the music they’re creating in the present.

Quite frankly, leadoff track “Sampo” just might be my favorite Amorphis track ever with its seemless melding of  piano and guitar.  It’s almost unfathomable  how  they have woven melodic piano lines into such heavy music in a way that makes total sense.  I could go on and on, but the truth is that there’s not a weak track to be found here.   Single “Silver Bride” is a fair representation of their sound for any newcomers, melding grandeur and melancholic beauty like no band I’ve ever heard.

The hugeness of their sound is even more incredible given the fact that they’ve always been an indie band here in the US of A…production quality usually reserved for those who have mega-bucks behind them.   Man, this stuff just gives me goosebumps.  I’m sure I sound ridiculous writing this, but this is a truly amazing band with their own sound and talent for miles.  Extra props for Tomi Joutsen’s incredible vocal work melding melody, passion and aggression like no one else.

Now is as good of a time as any to discover this amazing Finnish band who will fill your speaker cabinets like they’ve never been filled before with majestic melancholic beauty and grandeur.  I have to stop now, as the only justice to be served is by listening to this disc for yourself.   No need to mention individual tracks as they’re all stellar.

Rating: 5 out of 5

CLICK HERE to buy Skyforger

7/23/09 Update:  Amorphis has officially outdone themselves as far as the Abyss is concerned.   This is a first…”Skyforger” has usurped “Tales From the Thousand Lakes” in the Ten Most Truly Abysmal CD’s, and has quickly become one of my alltime favorite discs…period.  What they’ve done here just leaves me in awe and I can’t get enough of this sound.   Majestic, melancholic, beautiful, melodic, aggressive…it’s all here in inimitable fashion.   Please buy this disc and help keep these guys in the business of making music.

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