This Friday and Saturday, 3rd and 4th of November, 2023, the Greek fans will have the honor to witness the live magic of a unique band … Amorphis!
by Dimitris Zacharopoulos
In the vast, enigmatic landscapes of heavy metal music, there are some bands that have managed to encapsulate the essence of their homeland's culture, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of the genre. Amorphis, the well-respected Finnish metal outfit, stands as a prime example of this rare artistry. With a career spanning more than three decades, Amorphis has not only influenced countless bands but has also become a household name for metal enthusiasts worldwide. Let’s examine the Finnish phenomenon!
Amorphis was formed in 1990 in Helsinki, Finland, under the name Abhorrence. The band swiftly embraced a unique musical vision that blended elements of death metal with progressive rock, creating a sound that was both heavy and melodic. As their journey progressed, they ventured into uncharted territories, incorporating traditional Finnish folk melodies and themes from the Kalevala, the national epic of Finland, into their music. This fusion of metal and folklore became their signature style, setting them apart in the metal scene.
Their early albums, such as "The Karelian Isthmus" (1992) and "Tales from the Thousand Lakes" (1994), established them as pioneers of the death/doom metal genre. However, it was their 1996 album, "Elegy”, which marked a significant turning point. With new vocalist Pasi Koskinen on board, the band delved deeper into progressive and folk influences, creating an atmospheric masterpiece that resonated with listeners worldwide. The album "Tuonela" (1999) showed a mellower side of the band, emphasizing their folk and progressive elements. "Am Universum" (2001) furthered their exploration into experimental territory, bringing psychedelic and alternative rock elements to their music. In the subsequent years, albums like "Eclipse" (2006) and "Skyforger" (2009) solidified their position as genre-defying artists, garnering critical acclaim. Lyrical wise, Amorphis' deep connection with Finnish mythology and the Kalevala is evident in their lyrical themes and concepts. The band skillfully weaves ancient tales and folklore into their songs, creating a rich narrative, which adds depth to their music.
The band’s latest release was a live album, “Queen of Time (Live at Tavastia 2021)”. This album shows how the Finnish metallers manage to recreate the intricate layers of their studio recordings in a live setting. Whether performing at intimate venues or commanding massive festival stages, the band's energy and passion captivate audiences, leaving an indelible impression to the minds of attendees.
Amorphis' legacy is one of innovation, cultural pride, and unwavering dedication to their craft. Their ability to seamlessly blend elements of metal with Finnish folklore has not only earned them a dedicated fanbase but also elevated them to the status of metal masters. As we reflect on their journey, it becomes evident that Amorphis is more than a band; they are storytellers, cultural ambassadors, and sonic pioneers.
Amorphis – 10 of their best songs
Amorphis' discography is a treasure of musical brilliance, with each album offering a compelling sonic experience. At this point, we will try to select some of the band’s best songs, which we would like to listen to on Friday and Saturday! It is a hard, challenging task, but we have nothing to lose. So, let’s go!
- "Black Winter Day" (“Tales from the Thousand Lakes”, 1994):
This song is a quintessential piece of Amorphis' early work, blending melancholic melodies, powerful riffs and evocative lyrics. Its atmospheric charm and emotional depth make it a fan favorite and a timeless classic in the metal realm.
- "Silver Bride" (“Skyforger”, 2009):
"Silver Bride" showcases Amorphis' ability to craft intricate melodies and memorable hooks. With its infectious chorus and dynamic instrumentation, this track exemplifies the band's evolution towards a more progressive sound while retaining their trademark folk elements.
- "House of Sleep" (“Eclipse”, 2006):
A departure from their earlier style, "House of Sleep" introduces a more mainstream, gothic rock influence, demonstrating Amorphis' versatility. Its catchy melody and introspective lyrics struck a chord with listeners, earning the band widespread acclaim and commercial success.
- "The Smoke" (“Queen of Time”, 2018):
This track from their 2018 album "Queen of Time" is a masterclass in progressive metal. Featuring guest vocals by Anneke van Giersbergen, "The Smoke" combines intricate guitar work, atmospheric keyboards, and captivating storytelling, making it one of the most charming songs in their recent discography.
- "Death of a King" (“Under the Red Cloud”, 2015):
"Death of a King" is a fine example of Amorphis' ability to blend heavy riffing with melodic sensibility. The song's dynamic shifts, powerful vocals, and thought-provoking lyrics make it an incredible listen, showcasing the band's prowess in crafting complex, multi-layered compositions.
- "Against Widows" (“Elegy”, 1996):
This track from the album "Elegy" is a testament to Amorphis' fusion of death metal aggression with folk-inspired melodies. Its catchy hooks and seamless transitions between heavy and melodic sections make it a standout song from their mid-career period.
- "Her Alone" (“Eclipse”, 2006):
"Her Alone" is a hauntingly beautiful ballad that highlights the band's softer side. With its poignant lyrics and emotive vocals, this track persuades about Amorphis' ability to evoke deep emotions and create a haunting atmosphere, having a lasting impact on the listener.
- "The Way" (“Tuonela”, 1999):
"The Way" is one of Amorphis' best experimentations with progressive rock elements. Its intricate guitar work, atmospheric keyboards, and poetic lyrics create a superb atmosphere. The song's progressive structure and melodic richness make it a must-listen track on the "Tuonela" album.
- "The Castaway" (“Am Universum”, 2001):
This beautiful composition is characterized by its dreamy atmosphere, lush melodies, and introspective lyrics. The song's ethereal quality and heartfelt vocal delivery make it a marvellous listening experience, demonstrating the band's ability to craft emotionally resonant compositions.
- "Hopeless Days" (“Circle”, 2013):
This track combines heavy riffs with melodic interludes, creating a balanced musical journey. "Hopeless Days" stands out for its infectious energy and powerful chorus. Its seamless transitions between heavy and melodic sections make it a mesmerizing addition to Amorphis' repertoire.