• Jan Guisset

Sounds | Amorphis, On the Dark Waters


Nog maar enkele nachtjes slapen en dan verschijnt eindelijk Halo, het langverwachte nieuwe album van onze favoriete Finse melodeath veteranen Amorphis. Een band waarvan we niets minder dan Kwaliteit (inderdaad, met grote K) gewoon zijn en afgaande op de reeds losgelaten tracks durven we nu al stellen dat dit album hoog zal eindigen op de eindejaarslijstjes van 2022.

En voor het album dus helemaal uitkomt, op 11 februari, wordt er nog één mooie teaser gelost in de vorm van een ijskoude videoclip voor On the Dark Waters. Een track met een ietwat statischer ritme maar met de typische Amorphis combinatie van rauwe grunts en riffs die hand in hand gaan met een prachtige melodie.


Lees


Rock and metal music have always been a haven for those who have bigger stories to tell; who have grander emotions to convey. For more than thirty years, Finnish figureheads AMORPHIS have done their best to carve their very own niche in heartfelt yet aggressive, melancholic yet soothing tunes. On “Halo”, their staggering fourteenth studio effort, the Finns underline their trailblazing status as one of the most original, culturally relevant and rewarding acts ever to emerge from the land of the thousand lakes.

In the past, mythology and legend took the role of today’s pop culture: Stories and a set of values uniting us by giving us a voice and a tapestry on which we can find each other and identify with something. By weaving the tales of Finnish national epos “Kalevala” into their songs and interpreting them in a timeless way, AMORPHIS combine the role of ancient minstrels and luminaries of the modern world, honouring tradition without getting stuck in the past.

The vibrant, lively, and touching beauty that is “Halo” highlights their musical and storytelling mastership on a once again soaring level: It’s a progressive, melodic, and quintessentially melancholic heavy metal masterwork plucked from the fickle void of inspiration by original guitarists Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari, bassist Olli-Pekka Laine, drummer Jan Rechberger, longtime keyboardist Santeri Kallio and vocalist Tomi Joutsen, the band’s long-standing lyrical consciousness Pekka Kainulainen and a selected group of world class audio professionals led by renowned Swedish producer Jens Bogren. Considering the band’s prolonged journey in the forefront of innovative metal music, it’s difficult to grasp how AMORPHIS manages to raise the proverbial bar time and time again, presenting a more than worthy finale to the trilogy begun with 2015’s “Under the Red Cloud” followed by 2018’s “Queen of Time”.

Thirty-one years after their inception, with uncounted global tours under their belt and fourteen albums deep in their career, AMORPHIS still proves to be the musical fountain of youth, an extraordinary band constantly reinventing itself without abandoning its mystical roots. With “Halo”, they deliver an astonishing album that deserves to be played everywhere, transcending the realms of metal and rock by its sheer profoundness and musicality.


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