“Silent Waters” by Amorphis

Artist: Amorphis
Title: “Silent Waters”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 9/11/2007
Genre: Progressive Dark Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

When Amorphis released “Eclipse” back in 2006 they pretty much silenced the pundits who had felt that the band was now over given that long time singer Pasi Koskinen had decided to move on. If they wisely remained on board and helped to spread the new gospel of Metal being preached by the band with singer Tomi Joutsen firmly in place, then the Metal community could continue to move forward in positive fashion and all would be as it should. This state of mind is important because with the bands newest release “Silent Waters”, the journey and tales that were begun on “Eclipse” continue on and grow darker with each step that is taken. The album tells the tale of the Kalevala hero Lemminkainen and the album is nothing less than stunning as it draws you in from the moment it begins with “Weaving The Incantation”. The great thing about the bands newest member Joutsen is that he is singing with both dark and clean vocals which in the end present an incredible dynamic in the material. The return to this aspect of singing was a good move based on this style not only being so prevalent in Metal today, but more so in the fact that Joutsen very simply excels at both of them and ups the bands game in terms of powerful delivery. As the album gets more underway with “The Servant” the listener is treated to a driving number that demonstrates there will be little time to rest with this one if it starts out this strong. The title track comes next and while heavy is a little more solemn in its tone as the hero of the recording sings of his lost son. “Towards And Against” keeps the momentum building and there is so much in the way of melody and vocal changes that one would think the band had a number of different vocalists as opposed to the one. The band has not lost their skillful ability at crafting a solid batch of tunes and if one pays close attention they will find how good all of the albums tracks work with each other. It’s no wonder they had been referred to as such an influence upon the Metal scene for such a long time.

I enjoyed everything so far and by the time I got to “I Of Crimson Blood” I found myself reaching for the lyrics to better follow along in this musical journey. It’s never a bad thing when the music makes one do that since it gives you a deeper experience as you listen. “Her Alone” is another favorite and loaded with lush riffs and somber piano as the singer explains how a particular woman holds him at her command. quite powerful and explains the hold over him. The bands Folkish side comes into play for “Enigma” which I envisioned the band sitting around an open fire singing all together. “Shaman” also uses some of the Folk elements and even a riff or two from their past recordings. As the albums close draws they get heavier again with “The White Swan” and there are a number of different flavors presented here before the epic closing takes place with “Black River”. The track manages to capture quite a few of the feels and vibes that we heard earlier on the album and as result tie the stunning release all together. When it finishes you will only have a moment to catch a breath before you decide to listen to it once again. Some releases offer a bonus track “Sign” which I did hear but was unsure where it was supposed to fall in the context of the album. Amorphis has continued to be the musical representation of their name in their consistent ability to change but still deliver some of the most relevant Metal out there. If you are a fan of the type of band who ups the ante and skillfully meshes melody and heaviness without seeming trite then this release is a must have for your collection. You get the ever necessary lyrics in the enclosed booklet and this one features some incredible artwork by Travis Smith who fans might remember from some Opeth releases. Bands of the world best start paying attention if they hope to keep up with what Amorphis is bringing to the table.

Track Listing:
1. Weaving The Incantation
2. A Servant
3. Silent Waters
4. Towards And Against
5. I Of Crimson Blood
6. Her Alone
7. Enigma
8. Shaman
9. The White Swan
10. Black River
11. Sign (bonus track)

Official Website: www.amorphis.net

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