The Beginning of Times

01. Battle For Light
02. Mermaid
03. My Enemy
04. You I Need
05. Song Of The Sage
06. Three Words
07. Reformation
08. Soothsayer
09. On A Stranded Shore
10. Escape
11. Crack In A Stone
12. Beginning Of Time
13. Heart’s Song (digipack bonus)

Tomi Joutsen (vocals)
Esa Holopainen (guitar)
Tomi Koivusaari (guitar & vocals)
Niclas Etelävuori (bass)
Santeri Kallio (keyboards)
Jan Rechberger (drums)

The Karelian Isthmus (1993)
Tales from the Thousand Lakes (1994)
Elegy (1996)
Tuonela (1999)
Story - 10th Anniversary (2000)
Am Universum (2001)
Chapters (CD+DVD) (2003)
Far from the sun (2003)
Eclipse (2006)
Silent Waters (2007)
Skyforger (2009)


Marco Hietala (producer)

Released 27/5-2011
Reviewed 28/4-2011


In the beginning of times I reviewed Amorphis ’Silent Waters’, which was one of the first reviews made with our new point- and review system. In the beginning of times it was the first (new) album that earned the full point score with this point system. In the beginning of Times we also did an interview with Amorphis new vocalist. In the beginning of times this was published in our promotion issue and was one of the first reviews made since turning in to a web-magazine. Amorphis did in many ways set the standard for the new Hallowed in the beginning of times and now the Finns return with a new album, and it’s actually addressing the beginning of times.

You can never take away the fact that Amorphis was the first band to get the first official full point score in web-based Hallowed (unofficially Icon & The Black Roses actually had the first in our promo issue with their 2,5 year old debut album). ‘Silent Waters’ was followed by ‘Skyforger’ and also that was hugely celibrated by Hallowed (this time just one point off from full score) and here with the fourth album since putting Tomi Joutsen on the vocals the band actually takes a trip back to the beginning of times. Since it’s been lots of cocking about with dinosaurs and extinct animals and carbon dating things, you might expect us to do the same with an album that has the name this one have but to joke around with ancient jokes on one of the most modern-sounding bands of today just feels wrong. Just as wrong as wearing yellow socks under your grey boots.

Since the beginning of Amorphis in 1990, the band has released nine studio albums since their debut in 1993 and after driving up the wrong Finnish roads for about ten years they changed vocalist before releasing ‘Eclipse’ in 2006 and with that established a sound where melancholic hard rock was mixed with death metal and a lake of emotions. It’s been working well for three albums and on the fourth it works once again. The music on this album goes faster than on the last three and at least I feel the production has improved and is even better than it’s ever been. The sound is as clear as Absolute Vodka and the band has updated themselves soundwise to not just do more than play the piano slowly and sing sad songs about swans and burning trees. This time it’s more in the music than just pain and misery, this album feel really, really deep. And by that I really mean as deep as the Mariana trench.

‘The beginning of times’ is continuing Amorphis quest to (hard) rockify the old Finnish folk tales from the beginning of times. And to me this sounds like a good time to put on the suit, the high hat, the white silk gloves and shirt and top it all whit the black kane whit white top and monocle because just as they always do, Amorphis dress up their music to sound like a real fancy dress party. It’s like they’ve planned to come directly to the blue hall in Stockholm city hall for the Noble price dinner along with kings, emperors and mad scientists. It’s just the thing with the growling then, but you can motivate that by sying it’s a historical telltale in music and I guess any girl with royal blood will jump in to their knees and marry the whole band and give birth to their hairy kids.

As mentioned, I feel this album have a bit faster tempo than the last few, whom has been quite slow to be honest. I wouldn’t say they can beat a cheetah in a short distance race, but perhaps a leopard or jaguar with their humble 30-40 mph in a good day (compared to the cheetah’s 75 mph). Variation, though, seems to be Amorphis new slogan as this new album is tempo-wise as varied as the fur colour on a cheetah, leopard or jaguar (or tiger) these days. Not all songs are made for sleep this time and overall it’s cheetah fast compared to the old if they were leopards. Also, the production is more grand and turning up the volume just makes it bigger and better and I realize when I lower the volume that this album can’t fully be enjoyed in a low volume. It ends with me just raising the volume again and again and again until it’s so high that I risk permanent hearing disabilities. But I don’t care! It’s so fantastic that a band realize that studio albums is something else than playing live and that you can record something and then record more and more and just put this in layers on the album because on this Amorphis album all the arrangements, choirs, vocals and individual instruments give such a deep and grand sound that would have been impossible to do if they hadn’t did it this way. And I couldn’t think of any better way to do this.

Last time I had just one thing to complain about – that Amorphis had been lazy in writing the new songs and just the melodies from ‘Silent Waters’. But on this one they’ve taken the time to use everything they have and composed something that is very much Amorphis but not a photocopy of anything previously released. Everything is so fresh and it’s better than anything this band has ever done!

The songs are once again (for the third time) all good but without songs distinguishing themselves from each other. However, I have found three songs I like somewhat more than the rest, which is the single You I Need, Reformation and Crack in a Stone. All though, it’s hard to pick favourites when all are great, but I can say one song I feel is somewhat worse than the rest – which is Soothsayer. However, I don’t know how much that means when we’re talking about a really good song none the less.

In the beginning of times was Amorphis. In the beginning of times they were the best. In the beginning of times they’ve made the best album of the year. A fantastic album that is the first from this year to be awarded by the best thing imaginable – seven black H’s from Hallowed. This is probably the best band of today and this album shouldn’t only need a wheel barrow for their awards in the end of this year – they should be in need of a cargo ship for them. In a year that has seen fantastic albums from The Haunted, Children of Bodom, Sirenia, Whitesnake and Uriah Heep and that will see great albums from Edguy, Nightwish, Dream Theater, Hammerfall and plenty others I can with 100% certainty say that this is and will be the best album of 2011! It’s obvious that I’ve come to love Amorphis – more than ever with this album – and if you still haven’t checked them out yet after my reviews I promise I will hunt you down with a gigantic egg and feed you with Amorphis albums until their songs come out from your rectum!


Label - Nuclear Blast/Triada
Three similar bands - Dark Tranquillity/In Flames/Nightwish
Recensent: Caj Källmalm