Amorphis - Skyforger
Nuclear Blast
Progressive Melodic Metal
10 songs (47:42)
Release year: 2009
Amorphis, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Khelek
Album of the year

Amorphis is a band that hopefully needs no introduction. They have been making amazing music since the early 1990s beginning as a melodeath outfit, peers with early genre leaders such as At The Gates and In Flames. Since then they have evolved their sound to something a bit mellower and more progressive, but no less heavy and energetic. This is the third album since the inception of vocalist Tomi Joutsen after Pasi Koskinen left the band. He has certainly worked out well as the band's frontman as the past two albums have been quite well received and personally I think his voice fits perfectly with the band. When I saw Skyforger's cover art and heard the first single, Silver Bride, I had the feeling it would be another sonic masterpiece and I am pleased to say I was not disappointed in the least.

The first track, Sampo, starts out with a quick piano intro that leads us into a mid paced melodic riff and the clear voice of Tomi Joutsen. It sounds like a good intro track for the album even though it is a bit long at just over six minutes, but it really gives you a taste of what the album is all about, namely an emphasis on excellent instrumental elements. One example is the great keyboard work layered throughout the song, which really adds to the epic atmosphere that is created, along with excellent guitar work from Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari. Towards the end we also get a good glimpse of Joutsen's growled vocals. Silver Bride comes in next with a soft keyboard and guitar intro. The intro seems to have been added to the album version of the song, as it was not present on the single that I had heard on the band's myspace. The song then opens up with a very catchy melodic guitar lead with the keyboard again making a significant contribution to the song. I really like how good this band is at adding elements like this to their music and it never comes off as cheesy or cliche at all. This song is naturally pretty catchy and memorable, especially in the chorus, so it's an obvious choice for a single. From The Heaven Of My Heart also starts softly with the familiar piano and some acoustic guitar. The intro is pretty long and intricate, lasting over a minute and a half before the vocals come in. So far this album certainly seems to be a bit more about the instruments than the vocals. Sky Is Mine is a quicker song, the guitar riffs making me think of someone running through a field or a forest. This ability to really visualize the music is what made it one of my favorites from the album. The guitar work so far has been great and there are definitely a lot more solos than have been present on the last few Amorphis albums. Majestic Beast is much heavier with Tomi coming in with deep death metal growls that remind me somewhat of the early days of Amorphis. The next half of the album continues in the same vein as the first half, alternating between some slower and some faster songs that keep the same epic atmosphere as the rest of the album. I also noticed that this half of the album seems to move away from the simpler and more memorable riffs in favor of more complex song structures. Take the title track for example. There are many different instruments used and a lot of instrumental interludes to show different aspects of the sound. I think the best way to describe the song is that it has a lot of pieces that fit together to create something awesome, and it's certainly not the only one.

There is so much to take in on this album, after listening to it all the way through the first time I was just awestruck by the amount of music these guess were able to put into 10 tracks in under 50 minutes. This album may not be as catchy in some ways as the previous two, but there is so much else to love about it. The guitar work for one is superb. There is a lot of technical stuff here that I am not even going to start discussing as you can hear it in every single track on your own. But probably the biggest draw for me is the sheer amount of emotion and energy that these guys put behind their music. It is simply amazing to hear the results and it just gets better after more listens. This is yet another work of brilliance from these masters of progressive melodic metal.

Killing Songs :
Sampo, Silver Bride, Sky Is Mine, Skyforger, Course Of Fate
Khelek quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Amorphis that we have reviewed:
Amorphis - Circle reviewed by Khelek and quoted 90 / 100
Amorphis - The Beginning Of Times reviewed by Khelek and quoted 90 / 100
Amorphis - Tuonela reviewed by Khelek and quoted 89 / 100
Amorphis - Silent Waters reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Amorphis - Eclipse reviewed by Al and quoted 91 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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