Amorphis has never really failed me. At least not since I rediscovered them on their Silent Waters album. They continue to put out amazing albums about every two years. This one is a little different at times, but it is no exception. It remains a truly beautiful and captivating album that is bound to go down as a classic.
The album starts with the amazing "Battle for Light" which shows the band utilizing a little more keyboard melodies and some folk material than in their recent output. It also includes a lot more death metal vocals from Tomi Joutsen than previously. This appears to be more of a concept album and Joutsen makes a distinction with his vocal style on darker parts. These changes continue throughout the album with virtually every song introduced by a hauntingly melodic keyboard line.
Though Joutsen is not an original member of the band, this album really serves as a showcase to his tremendous abilities as a vocalist. He is amazing from a technical standpoint and his vocals really drive this album. Joutsen has really come into his own as a singer for this band and he truly fits in here, taking a lot of the spotlight with him.
None of this is to say that the music is any less impressive. Amorphis has always managed to produce highly skilled and engrossing compositions and this album is no exception. Though the band no longer resembles the death metal group with folk tendencies that they were on their earliest releases, this version never fails to impress.
This is yet another classic for Amorphis. Every time I hear that the band is releasing a new album, I get excited. This album once again shows why.