Amorphis – The Beginning of Times (2011)

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Having set the standard very high with “Skyforger”, Amorphis returns with an even better album with “The Beginning of Times”. Featuring 12 tracks of majestic Melodic Metal/Rock, the band is definitely at the top of their game and is set on a path of global domination with this near-perfect release.

Featuring their characteristic Melodic approach to Metal, Amorphis does not compromise or goes mainstream and has put together a very impressive release that is both aggressive and beautifully crafted. Lead by the charismatic and versatile vocals of Tomi Joutsen, “The Beginning of Times” is an early candidate of album of the year.

Opening this release we have the epic “Battle for Light”, in this track the band puts together all the elements that have made them very successful in the past and still manages to sound fresh and focused. With the perfect balance between growls and clean vocals, Tomi Joutsen delivers a powerful performance (much like in every other song). The keyboards create a very typical Amorphis atmosphere and keep the track very fresh and interesting.

In the next song “Mermaid”, the band’s sound goes into that extra ethereal level and creates an intoxicating atmosphere that makes this song very melodic and our favorite one of this release. The use of female vocals gives the track that extra push into new levels of awesomeness and when paired with Joutsen’s emotional sections, it takes the listener into musical nirvana.

With a bigger Rock edge we have “My Enemy”, but things are kept Metal with the deep growls and powerful riffing courtesy of Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari. In the album’s first single, the keyboards of Santeri Kallio make this song very mellow and work wonders with the catchy vocal lines. The aggressive “Song of the Sage” reminds us of earlier Amorphis songs (especially when sang by Joutsen), but with the band’s modern chorus sections.

The female backing vocals make another appearance with “Three Words”. This song with its melodic sections makes for our second favorite track of this release. The backing vocals of “Reformation” make this song a very powerful anthem for a relaxing evening under the sun. We particularly like Jan Rechberger drumming in this track as well as the bass guitar like of Niclas Etelävuori.

On “Soothsayer” and “Escape” we can see how the band seamlessly goes from aggressive sections into majestic melodic passages. A very interesting track has to be “On a Stranded Shore”, this very powerful ballad-like song showcases a more mellow and melodic side of things. “Beginning of Time” closes this album with another majestic combination of great vocal arrangements and excellent guitar parts.

Band: Amorphis Album: The Beginning of Times
Label:Nuclear Blast Records

Release: June 6th, 2011

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Genre: Melodic Metal/Rock

Country: Finland

Rating: 99/100