Amorphis – Under the Red Cloud Review

amorphisundertheredcd-300x180 Amorphis - Under the Red Cloud Review

 

Released by: Nuclear Blast

Release date: 4 September 2015

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: Facebook , amorphis.net

 

Lineup:

Tomi Joutsen – Vocals

Esa Holopainen – Guitar

Tomi Koivusaari – Guitar

Santeri Kallio – Keyboards

Niclas Etelävuori – Bass

Jan Rechberger – Drums

 

Track Listing:

01. Under The Red Cloud

02. The Four Wise Ones

03. Bad Blood

04. The Skull

05. Death Of A King

06. Sacrifice

07. Dark Path

08. Enemy At The Gates

09. Tree Of Ages

10. White Night

Bonus tracks (digipak & 2LP):

11. Come The Spring

12. Winter’s Sleep

 

As someone that listens to a lot of music and knows a lot of bands, there are some I just miss. I know I have said this before, but it’s a plain truth: there are too many bands to keep up with, and definitely too many out there I want to check out, but just never get around to. Amorphis is another of those bands. I’ve heard the name plenty over the years and always intended on giving them a fair shake as what I had read about them sounded like it was likely my sort of thing. The only albums I have listened to in the recent past was 1996’s Elegy and 2009’s Skyforger. I enjoyed them, but both was albums I never got back to, nor did I follow up on their other releases as I customarily do. When I was given the chance to review their latest offering I decided it was time to dig a little deeper into their music.

Under the Red Cloud, the bands 12th studio release, is an excellent mix of power and prog metal with moments that tread into death, folk, doom, and traditional metal. Even during their heavier parts they have a melodic polish to them that appealed to me. Vocalist Tomi Joutsen has a deep and mesmerizing voice, hypnotizing the listener. Guitarist Esa Holopainen supplies not only tasty guitar riffs, but the growling vocals that mingle well with Joutsen. He and Tomi Koivusaairi also accompany each other well, though often it seems that keyboardist Santeri Kallio is just as integral to the sound and riffs as the guitarists. Drummer Jan Rechberger and bassist Niclas Etelävuori supply a perfect framework for the songs, combining into a very unusual sound at times. Tracks like “Tree of Ages,” “Bad Blood,” “Dark Path” and “Death of A King” set a nice, almost ambient mood for a band with heavier tendencies.

I really enjoyed this album, but at times it seemed they were a bit more reserved than I had anticipated from the song openings. It’s not a forceful or in your face album, much more subtle and one of those albums that you will likely hear something different with each spin. Based on my little knowledge of the band I don’t see why fans of the band would be disappointed by this album. It seems like a perfect album for kicking back and playing loud on headphones, and sometimes those albums are treasures that give more later than albums that kick you in the head instantly.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

Ratings: Chris 7/10

 

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