Monday, July 25, 2011

Amorphis: The Beginning of Times (2011)


Amorphis need no introduction. Their tenth full-length, The Beginning of Times, is one of the highest-profile metal albums of the year.

The Beginning Of TimesIf you've heard any of the previous albums featuring vocalist Tomi Joutsen, you know what to expect. This is folk-inflected melodic metal with the occasional melo-death. The songs are catchy, and the vocals are excellent (snubbing Joutsen on my list of the best metal vocalists was an unintentional oversight). He has one of the best clean voices and one of the best death growls. And, thankfully, he's using his death growl even more than before.

Amorphis have become as reliable as bands like Amon Amarth or Dark Tranquillity, and their output is arguably even better than those names.

But then again, that might be a bad thing. Amorphis are supposed to be, for lack of a better word, amorphous. Each album should have its own distinctive feel. They have adopted elements of many different sounds and always made them their own, but now they seem to be running on auto-pilot. It's a damn good autopilot, but still slightly disappointing.

The Verdict: Yes, it's excellent, but it doesn't really do anything to stand out from the band's incredible back catalog. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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