Amorphis is a Finnish heavy metal band founded by Jan Rechberger, Tomi Koivusaari, and Esa Holopainen in 1990. I was not aware of them until they released their previous album Under the Red Cloud, which I remember hearing a lot of positive things about back in 2015 but I never decided to check it out for some reason (I probably forgot lol).
Amorphis came back with another album in this year called Queen of Time. This is first album in 17 years with their old bassist Olli-Pekka “Oppu” Laine following the departure of Niclas Etelävuori in 2017
So, what do we get on Queen of Time?
A lot of great things, for sure. Firstly, this is a very polished album which for some people might be turn off, but for me personally, it makes this album sound even better. All melodic parts of the album shine even brighter because of it. Just listen to intro riff of Heart of The Giant. That intro melodic riff is absolutely beautiful and so captivating. I am so sick of albums with fantastic melodies being lowkey ruined by lackluster production.
Let’s talk about Amorphis’ frontman. Mr.Tomi Joutsen and his vocals on this album. They are honestly amazing. Seriously, listen to opening growl from opening song of this album The Bee and it will blow you away. For some reason, his growls remind me a lot of Johann Hegg from Amon Amarth and that is a pretty good thing in my books. His clean vocals are not that far. They give pretty nice melodic touch to this album and every time he uses them the mood of the album tends to change to more relaxing type which is pretty nice and increases the variety of this album.
Queen of Time is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s not generic at all. Almost every idea that is presented on this album has fantastic execution. The contrast between growling and clean vocals? Perfect. Choirs? Perfect. Symphonic orchestra? Beautiful.
That already mentioned contrast between growling and clean vocals gives this album very nice sound especially when they are paired with a choir. Another thing that makes this album sound great are occasional touches of flutes with very Celtic folk flavor to them. First time when I heard them I immediately thought of Eluveitie and it turns out Chrigel Glanzmann is guest on this album.
This is a very consistent album. May even be top 3 most consistent albums of the year. At least so far. Highs of it may not be super high although Amongst Stars and The Bee are one of best songs of the year but lows of this album are not low at all. Hell, the worst song of this album which is Pyres On The Coast is pretty great. I can see this album growing on me even more and that speaks volumes how great this album is
Now, let’s talk about my favorite song from this album. Which is already mentioned Amongst Stars. Anekke’s feature on Amongst Stars is one of best parts of the album. It helps elevate the song on whole another level. Flute melody paired with Anekke’s vocals give such beautiful result.
Queen of Time is not your le epic solo and shredding type of album but its atmosphere is fantastic. This is the type of Progressive metal I adore. Type of Progressive metal I like to call “Epic shit”. Everything about this album is so anthemic which will work wonders when played live. This album is one hour and 9 minutes long and it does not feel like it is that long. That is the mark of the great album.
There are so many little things of this album that make this album sound great. From fantastic orchestral and choral arrangements to great vocals from Tomi Joutsen. Orchestral arrangements completely elevate this album to whole another level of awesomeness. Rhythm guitar from Daughter of Hate sounds like something straight from Tool’s playbook. We Accused features fantastic keyboard part and so on. I could name great things about this album for days but let’s not overstuff this review. If you by some chance did not listen to this album definitely check it out because this is one of best metal albums you will hear all year probably.
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