Founded 1990 in Helsinki, AMORPHIS have worked their way to the apex of the European metal scene and won international renown. The band’s name, derived from “amorphous” (no determinate form or shape), has been programmatic for the pioneers of Finnish metal over the course of their 20-year career. Setting a diverse, intricate and unique style to their musical approach, often being described as “ahead of their time”, the band accrued a large and loyal international fan base. From their independently released demo “Disment of Soul” (1991) through the current releases, Amorphis have always fused elements of traditional heavy, death and doom metal with a great variety of non-metal influences, including folk, progressive and psychedelia, and managed to create an instantly recognizable sound of their own. The band’s break-through came in 1994 with “Tales From The Thousand Lakes“. The album won the band a massive fan base around the world, reaching a multitude of listeners among and beyond the metal community, and remains immensely popular to this day.
In the early stages of their career, Amorphis consisted of Tomi Koivusaari (guitarist and original vocalist), Esa Holopainen (guitars), Olli-Pekka Laine (bass), and Jan Rechberger (drums). Together they greatly affected the metal underground, gained recognition and soon scored a multi-album contract with Relapse Records. Shortly after, Amorphis released their debut album, “The Karelian Isthmus“. Receiving an impressive response, the band chose to venture further into melodic terrain, adding progressive keyboard sounds here and clean guest vocals (performed by Ville Tuomi of Kyyria) there. The result was the classic “Tales From The Thousand Lakes“, which to this day is considered to be one of the most groundbreaking albums in the doom/death genre. For the first time incorporating lyrics from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, the album also was the first true manifestation of the influential Amorphis sound: a seamless combination of intoxicating melodies and aggressive sounds delivered with both clean and harsh vocals.
The success of “Tales From The Thousand Lakes” provided Amorphis with the opportunity to tour the European continent several times, and followed by their first US tour in late 1994. Shortly thereafter, the band underwent some major musical and line-up changes. Continuing to feature lyrics based on traditional Finnish folk poetry, the third album “Elegy” introduced a new vocalist, Pasi Koskinen. This adjustment proclaimed a significant transformation in Amorphis‘ career. Pasi’s unique vocals brought a new setting to the music, which now concentrated more on compelling keyboard atmospheres, psychedelic guitar sounds and a distinctive arrangement of the vocals, delivered by both Tomi and Pasi. Encouraged by popular and critical approval, the band members took three years to prepare their next album, honing the newfound style to perfection. “Tuonela” was liberally sprinkled with 1970s-style psychedelic touches and marked another great leap ahead for Amorphis, and its successor, “Am Universum” delved even further into progressive soundscapes.
In 2003, Amorphis released “Far From The Sun“. While closer to the band’s metal roots than the previous longplayer, the album was again very relaxed and melodic as ever, spiced with Far Eastern touches as well as progressive elements in the vein of Pink Floyd. In the late summer of 2004, long-time singer Pasi Koskinen left the band, and Tomi Joutsen (Sinisthra) joined around the end of the year. With a new singer and new energy, the band recorded “Eclipse“, an acclaimed masterpiece that combined the best-loved elements of Amorphis’ unique sound with fresh vigour. The album went straight to the top of the Finnish charts and was followed by triumphant live appearances all over Europe before the band retreated again to the recording studio.
“Eclipse” was followed by “Silent Waters” in the late summer of 2007. The dynamic and emotional range of the new songs, all of which were based on a single episode from the Kalevala, went beyond any of Amorphis‘ earlier albums, yet at the same time hearkened back to the band’s past output in all its diversity. The release of the new album was preceded by a string of festival appearances – including Germany’s famous Wacken Open Air – and immediately followed by a five-week Finnish tour. The remainder of 2007 found Amorphis in Europe, Russia and Japan, whereas in 2008 they played in southeastern Europe, at a multitude of festivals and, during the fall, in the USA and Canada.
The new album “Skyforger” shares the lyrical concept of the two previous albums, its central character being Kalevala blacksmith Ilmarinen. Musically, the band soars to unprecedented heights; not abandoning the cherished ingredients of their sound but rather refining them, augmenting them with fresh elements, and delivering them with breathtaking passion and intensity. Both the album and the single “Silver Bride” went straight to number one in the Finnish charts, and the live qualities of the new songs were immediately tested and proven on the summer’s festival stages. In September, Amorphis went on their first-ever tour of Latin America, followed by the extensive Forging Europe Tour in the fall. In the summer of 2010, the band presented its first-ever live DVD, which includes two full shows recorded in 2009 as well as a career-spanning documentary. The release coincided with the 20th anniversary of Amorphis, which in addition was honored by a compilation of re-recorded classic tracks, released in September 2010.
Nostalgia, however, is not what this band is about. Granted, The Beginning Of Times (2011) showcases their trademark style in perfection, including plenty of reference to the death metal days, yet at the same time it proves that Amorphis have lost none of their progressive edge and experimental spirit. Doing honor to protagonist Väinämöinen, the Kalevala‘s central character whom myth credits for bringing music into the world, the band brought forth its most versatile and nuanced effort to date; in terms of performance and arrangements as well as rythms and sounds. Iikka Kahri, whose flute and saxophone already graced several songs on Skyforger, was back in the fold, Tomi Koivusaari added a few discreet touches of pedal steel guitar and Santeri balanced the 1970s prog and 1990s death elements with a synth vocabulary straight out of the eighties. More noticeable still was the addition of Netta Dahlberg’s backing vocals, which beautifully complement Tomi Joutsen’s lead – most poignantly on “Mermaid” and “Soothsayer” but also, for example, on the single You I Need. Besides another number one in Finland, The Beginning Of Times also earned Amorphis their first-ever Top 20 rating in Germany.
At the outset of the third decade, Amorphis continue their musical journey creative as ever – not confined to any predetermined shape, yet always instantly recognizable, always true to their own vision, and always unique.
On August 21, 2012, Amorphis announced on their website that a new album was in the works. On January 17, 2013, the band announced the title and release date for their next record. Circle was released on April 19 in Europe and April 30th in North America. On September 16, 2013, Circle won Metal Hammer´s “The Album of The Year” award. Esa Holopainen on the award, “For us, Album of the Year award is a great recognition for the work done so far. Especially when we got it from our 11th studioalbum.”
On August 4, 2014, Amorphis announced on their website and through social media that they would be playing a number of special Tales from the Thousand Lakes 20th Anniversary shows where their 1994 album would be performed in its entirety. Tales from the Thousand Lakes 20th Anniversary shows included festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Maryland Deathfest, and 70000 Tons of Metal with many other tour dates and festivals included.
The band began demoing new songs at the start of 2015, and in 4 March of that same year, it was announced that Amorphis will begin to record a new in album in April 2015, at Fascination Street Studio, Örebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren.
The lyrics will be written once again by Pekka Kainulainen, who says “Like ‘Kalevala’, they are descriptions of natural phenomena, seasons and the human mind. Reoccuring situations where hope and uncertainty alternate. Attempting to gain advice from higher powers. The poems do not form a complete story per se, but they are drawn together by a certain theme. We live under a red cloud and once again, time weighs us.”
In 15 June 2015, it was announced that the title for the twelfth studio full-length album is Under The Red Cloud, with the artwork and tracklist revealed and with a worldwide release date of 4 September 2015 by Nuclear Blast Records.
On May 18, 2018, they release their thirteenth album Queen of Time, and they announce an European tour for 2019 with Soilwork and Jinjer. With this album, we can note the return of the former bass player Olli-Pekka ‘Oppu’ Laine.
Queen Of Time / 2018
1. The Bee 05:30
2. Message in the Amber 06:44
3. Daughter of Hate 06:20
4. The Golden Oak 06:22
5. Wrong Direction 05:09
6. Heart of the Giant 06:32
7. We Accursed 04:59
8. Grain of Sand 04:44
9. Amongst Stars 04:50
10. Pyres on the Coast 06:19
The thirteenth studio album by Amorphis. Marks the return of bassist Olli-Pekka Laine after the departure of Niclas Etelävuori. Cover artwork was created by French artist Jean “Valnoir” Simoulin from Metastazis.
With Pekka Kainulainen’s (lyricist) words, the lyrical theme is universal: “Cultures rise, flourish, and are destroyed. The story of man is the story of searching, finding, and forgetting. A single spark can set the world afire, a single idea can give birth to a new culture. The greatest can stagnate into insignificance, the smallest can hold the power for change. The lyrics on this album are distant echoes of ancient forest peoples, from a time when meaning was proportioned by the cosmic forces that govern birth and death. If the connection was lost, they sought for a strand of knowledge, found a new direction, and a new age began.”
Under the Red Cloud / 2015
1. Under the Red Cloud
2. The Four Wise Ones
3. Bad Blood
4. The Skull
5. Death of a King
7. Dark Path
8. Enemy at the Gates
9. Tree of Ages
10. White Night
Under the Red Cloud is the twelfth studio album by Finnish heavy metal band Amorphis, released worldwide on 4 September 2015 through Nuclear Blast. The album was produced by Jens Bogren, who was described as “just the right person” by keyboardist Santeri Kallio.
Circle / 2013
1. Shades of Gray
3. The Wanderer
4. Narrow Path
5. Hopeless Days
6. Nightbird’s Song
7. Into the Abyss
8. Enchanted by the Moon
9. A New Day
Circle is the eleventh studio album by Finnish heavy metal band Amorphis, released on 17 April 2013, through Victor Entertainment and on 19 April 2013, through Nuclear Blast. Recorded at Petrax Studio in Hollola and at 5K Studios in Helsinki, it is the first Amorphis album since Far from the Sun (2003) not to be produced by Marco Hietala, or to be based on the Finnish national epic Kalevala. Instead, Circle was produced by Peter Tägtgren and focuses on an original story penned by lyricist Pekka Kainulainen.
The Beginning of Times / 2011
1. Battle for Light
3. My Enemy
4. You I Need
5. Song of the Sage
6. Three Words
9. On a Stranded Shore
11. Crack in a Stone
12. Beginning of Time
The Beginning of Times is the tenth studio album by Finnish metal band Amorphis, released on 25 May 2011 in Finland, 27 May in Europe and June 7 in the United States. Like previous Amorphis albums, The Beginning of Times is a concept album. The central character of the songs is Väinämöinen, described by the band as “the iconic hero of Finnish mythology“.
Skyforger / 2009
2. Silver Bride
3. From the Heaven of My Heart
4. Sky Is Mine
5. Majestic Beast
6. My Sun
7. Highest Star
9. Course of Fate
10. From Earth I Rose
Skyforger is the ninth studio album by Finnish heavy metal band Amorphis. Like the previous album, the lyrics to Skyforger are English translations of Finnish poems based on the Kalevala and written by Pekka Kainulainen. Unlike the two previous albums, it is based on different parts of several episodes, but all told from a single character’s point of view. In this sense it is a return to Tales from the Thousand Lakes which told stories from different parts of the Kalevala. The last two albums focused on Kullervo and Lemminkäinen, respectively, and this one focuses on Ilmarinen.
In addition to a regular edition, the album was also released in a limited digipak edition which included the bonus track “Godlike Machine“. Initially, this digipak edition caused controversy because of sound level fluctuations during the tracks “My Sun” and “Skyforger“, but Nuclear Blast has since remedied the problem by promising replacement CDs.
On April 22, 2009, “Silver Bride” was released as a Finland-only single, peaking at number 1. The music video for the single premiered on May 11, 2009.
The album’s sound has been described as melodic death metal with influences from progressive metal, power metal and folk metal.
Silent Waters / 2007
1. Weaving the Incantation
2. A Servant
3. Silent Waters
4. Towards and Against
5. I of Crimson Blood
6. Her Alone
9. The White Swan
10. Black River
Silent Waters is the eighth studio album by Finnish heavy metal band Amorphis.
The lyrics are English translations of Finnish poems written by poet Pekka Kainulainen, who wrote them based on the character of Lemminkäinen in the Kalevala.
In February 2008, the record was certified gold in Finland, having sold over 15,000 units.
Eclipse / 2006
1. Two Moons
2. House of Sleep
3. Leaves Scar
4. Born from Fire
5. Under a Soil and Black Stone
6. Perkele (The God of Fire)
7. The Smoke
8. Same Flesh
9. Brother Moon
10. Empty Opening
11. Stone Woman
Eclipse is the seventh studio album by Finnish heavy metal band Amorphis. The lyrics are from a play based on the Kullervo legend (told in the Kalevala), written by Finnish poet and playwright Paavo Haavikko in 1982.
Eclipse is also notable for being current vocalist Tomi Joutsen‘s debut with Amorphis following the departure of longtime singer Pasi Koskinen in 2005. It also marked the reintroduction of death growls into their music, albeit in limited quantity.
In February 2008, the record was certified gold in Finland, having sold over 15,000 units.
Far from the Sun / 2003
Far from the Sun is the title of the sixth studio album by Finnish heavy metal band Amorphis.
It was the first album to feature drummer Jan Rechberger since 1994’s Tales from the Thousand Lakes, replacing Pekka Kasari who had quit the band to spend more time with his family. It was their last album to feature Pasi Koskinen on vocals.
The American release is packaged in a slipcase and features five bonus tracks and a video for “Evil Inside“. The song, “Darkrooms” is also a bonus track for the Japanese edition.
The time before that Amorphis used the “Ukonvasara” (a Finnish type of Mjolnir depicted from Norse Mythology) on an album cover was on Black Winter Day.
The album was re-released in Europe in 2008 by Nuclear Blast. This new version includes all the bonus tracks that were previously only available on the American version and also has new artwork.
Am Universum / 2001
2. Goddess (of the Sad Man)
3. The Night Is Over
4. Shatters Within
5. Crimson Wave
6. Drifting Memories
7. Forever More
8. Veil of Sin
9. Captured State
10. Grieve Stricken Heart
Am Universum is the fifth album by heavy metal band Amorphis. This album was a departure from the doom/stoner metal influence on their previous album, Tuonela, featuring more of a vocal-driven progressive rock sound.
The song “Alone” is also on the live DVD, Forging the Land of Thousand Lakes. The edited version of the song is on the single itself, and is also on Amorphis‘ greatest hits compilation album, Chapters. The DVD and the compilation both have the music video for the song. Other songs that are also on the compilation are “Too Much to See“, which is also on the “Alone” single and “Drifting Memories“.
Tuonela / 1999
1. The Way
2. Morning Star
9. Rusty Moon
10. Summer’s End
Tuonela is the fourth full-length album by Finnish band Amorphis.
The album is named from Tuonela, the realm of the dead in Finnish mythology. The album also shares inspiration with many of the band’s productions in the text and themes of the Kalevala, or Finnish Epic.
The style is less progressive, like its predecessor, Elegy, but rather a stoner/doom metal record, with progressive metal/progressive rock elements, except few more progressive and rock-sounding songs including “Divinity” (which has a music video), “The Way“, “Summer’s End“, “Tuonela” and “Northern Lights“.
This album was the last release with original and long time bassist, Olli-Pekka Laine, who quit a year after this release in 2000, because of musical differences and to focus on his family.
Elegy / 1996
1. Better Unborn
2. Against Widows
3. The Orphan
4. On Rich and Poor
5. My Kantele
7. Song of the Troubled One
8. Weeper on the Shore
11. My Kantele (Acoustic Reprise)
Elegy is the third album by the then-emerging Finnish band Amorphis. The album is their first to feature a majority of clean vocals, sung by new vocalist Pasi Koskinen. The music and lyrics are inspired by the traditional Finnish ballads and poems compiled in the Kanteletar by Elias Lönnrot in 1840. The primary genre of the album is progressive metal, with strong folkinfluence, as well as elements of melodic death metal and heavy metal. Many of the album’s tracks, e.g. “Against Widows“, have become fan favorites and have been performed in concerts since Elegy‘s release. In 2004, Relapse Records reissued Elegy as a digipak, featuring four live bonus tracks. The songs “Against Widows“, “On Rich and Poor“, “My Kantele” & “Song of the Troubled One” were all re-recorded on Magic & Mayhem – Tales from the Early Years. “My Kantele” was covered on Live & Acoustic by Thurisaz.
Tales from the Thousand Lakes / 1994
1. Thousand Lakes (instrumental)
2. Into Hiding
3. The Castaway
4. First Doom
5. Black Winter Day
6. Drowned Maid
7. In the Beginning
8. Forgotten Sunrise
9. To Father’s Cabin
10. Magic and Mayhem
Tales from the Thousand Lakes is the second full-length album by metal band Amorphis. It is a concept album, the lyrics are based on the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. While still predominantly death metal, the album shows a greater influence of doom metal than the band’s debut, along with more melodic, heavy metal-inspired riffing and elements of progressive rock and traditional Finnish folk music. The album also introduced synthesizers and clean vocals to the band’s sound, though the latter was used sparingly.
This is the first Amorphis release to have an official keyboardist, Kasper Mårtenson, as any previous of the band’s releases had the band’s own drummer, Jan Rechberger, provide the empty keyboardist role until the band decided to have a keyboardist and also to find one being Mårtenson. With Mårtenson in the band, it is the first time the band’s original lineup changed by having an additional member.
The album was an influential release in the development of the melodic death metal and folk metal genres.
The original limited version (on digipack) had a cover of “Light My Fire” by The Doors added as a bonus track. It was later re-released in 2001 with most tracks from the Black Winter Day EP and the “Light My Fire” cover added as bonus tracks.
The Karelian Isthmus / 1992
2. The Gathering
3. Grail’s Mysteries
4. Warriors Trial
5. Black Embrace
6. Exile of the Sons of Uisliu
7. The Lost Name of God
8. The Pilgrimage
9. Misery Path
10. Sign from the North Side
Although The Karelian Isthmus took its name from a historic Finnish battleground, Karelian Isthmus, its lyrics focus on Amorphis‘s well known epic themes from the history of Finnish warfare and religion, but drawing more from celtic mythology rather than the later traditions of Amorphis‘s own native land. The epic side is sometimes broken up by the occult lyrical themes in tracks including “Pilgrimage“, “Misery Path” and “Black Embrace“. In recent years, songs from this album have been receiving more play during Amorphis‘ live performances, despite being of a different style than their later works.
This release was the last recorded release to have the original lineup of the band as later on the band would have either additional members or original members quitting. Privilege of Evil was the last release with the original lineup, but it was recorded before this album. Both releases were combined in a 2003 reissue.
REVIEWS AND INTERVIEWS
January 20th 2019 – the first cold day in Kraków since very long time. But the coldnes does not scared fans of good metal sounds. One hour before the doorMarch 18, 2019 by Justyna Klorek
Finland is most likely one of the best country for a metalhead to spend summer in. We literally have festivals that at least feature some metal every weekend + allJune 12, 2018 by Tero Tolkki
Tero Tolkki conducted an audio interview with Tomi Koivusaari of Amorphis and Abhorrence and we had a chance to catch up the latest on Amorphis camp as they had justMay 25, 2018 by Tero Tolkki
Just when you thought AMORPHIS couldn’t get any more progressive after their previous album ‘Under The Red Cloud’, the ‘QUEEN OF TIME’ comes out to sting you in the face!May 16, 2018 by Slayanys Maniax
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