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New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th
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Author:  Ilwhyan [ Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

I'm just listening to The Beginning of Times for the first time, and I'd easily rank this below Far From the Sun. That one at least had songs that genuinely rocked out, even though the production was dull, the tempos much too slow and Koskinen sounded sedated. This is incredibly boring and unentertaining music to me. So, any step away from this style will be an improvement, I suppose, as long as they won't go metalcore or something.

Author:  Razakel [ Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

I think the best songs on The Beginning of Times are the more varied/heavy ones like Battle for Light, Crack in a Stone, Soothsayer, and Beginning of Time. Most of the other songs have their moments like Song of the Sage with its cool Elegy-like section, Mermaid's intro, but I find it harder to listen to the whole album than I did soon after it came out. But that's okay, it does have some really, really good songs. Definitely better than Far From the Sun which had Day of Your Beliefs, Smithereens, the title track, and part of Planetary Misfortune going for it. Anyway, listen to Shades of Gray, to me it really does sound like a new direction.

Remarkably, Heart's Song, the bonus track off of TBoT, is easily the best softer song on the album.

Author:  Blizk [ Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Here's some doom for ya.

Youtube: show

Author:  Razakel [ Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Beat me to it! Just woke up to this song now, and shit, this is spectacular. I'd hardly call it doom, in fact I don't know what the hell I'd call it. Cool to hear Joutsen experiment with new vocal techniques, there's a bit of a blackish edge to his usual death growls. I really, really love the melancholic chorus of this one, and the instrumentation is just sublime. Love it!

Author:  enigmatech [ Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

To me, their best album will always be "The Karelian Isthmus", and I wish they would ditch the keyboards and clean vocals and scarfs and start playing real metal again. That said, "The Beginning of Times" was okay, and that's the only Jousten-era album I have ever heard (from what I understand, all the rest sound exactly like that, so I don't seem to be missing much). I don't really like these samples all that much, they seem to still rely on these bright, emotional choruses which sound pretty unnecessary to me. It's obvious they are not trying to channel "The Karelian Isthmus" and I didn't expect them to, but nonetheless I can't help but be a little disappointed that there isn't more energy in this so far.

Author:  Mysticaloldbard [ Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Each song keeps getting better! "Enchanted" has some really cool riffs and melodies unlike other Amorphis material. This album is sure to be very interesting.

Author:  Paganbasque [ Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

There is also a track by track commmented preview, and I can say that the new album sounds great. It is not such a great departure from the previous albums but it sounds much more poweful than the last one. I would like to remark the guitar sound is heavier/stronger which I really like.

Author:  xpsychoblissx [ Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Holy shit...that black metal-ish song in the sampler was so fucking awesome!

Author:  OzzyApu [ Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

LEAKED!!

Author:  Deviante [ Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

The album sounds alright so far and definitely more inspired than the last album. Some of these songs have a nice amount of doublebass and heavier riffage. For instance, chugging rhythms and even some tremolo riffage on "Nightbird's Song". This is accompanied by Joutsen's usual vocals. Well, usual in the growl/clean -department, though he experiments a bit. For instance, I like the raspier/throatier stuff he does this time around, mostly on "Nightbird's Song". So in that respect, the relative increase in heaviness is nice, as the guys seemed to enjoy playing the more old stuff the most when I saw them last live.

Apart from that, some of these songs sound mostly like you would expect of a late 00s Amorphis -album. Narrowpath sounds ridiculously folky at times, though. And thinking about it, some bridges etc. mellow parts on this album sound surprisingly folky in general too, in a good way. (Not big on the "merry" folk metal in general, though). Into the Abyss is probably my favourite song, prematurely speaking. It sounds more upbeat barring the chorus + bridge/solo, and I just love the melodies and riffs in it. Beautiful stuff!

I guess only time will tell how this is going to turn out. I am definitely purchasing this, but the problem with Silent Waters, Skyforger and the previous album was that they sounded good initially, only to get stale on further listens for me. They are still solid and there're gems to be found on those albums, but I rarely feel like listening any of their Joutsen-albums in their entirety, barring Eclipse, which is just ridiculously good. It's also the only Joutsen-album for me which got better with further listens. So in a way I am interested how this new one will be like. I'll give it a week or two, a spin a day or so.

For now, I am satisfied. There's enough experimentation and an added "edge" of sorts I guess, while the rest is just quality Amorphis, simply speaking. (That's a good thing here). But I guess I expected just a bit more extremity, for some reason. I like it for what it is worth anyway. How much, though, remains the question. I hope it'll grow on me instead of becoming a bit flaccid with time like their previous albums since Silent Waters (which still are good for what they are I guess - I can see the appeal).

Author:  Razakel [ Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

OzzyApu wrote:
LEAKED!!


Well there's my Friday night booked!

Author:  adace [ Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Superb album. I'm enjoying it a lot more than the last two or three.

Author:  OzzyApu [ Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

I'm more excited hearing this on my first listen than I was the passed three. Hopefully it'll stay that way.

Author:  Razakel [ Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

After three back-to-back listens here are my impressions:

1. The production is absolutely superb, in fact I'd call it perfect. It's basically the post 2005 sound but with the guitars much more in the forefront, and you can hear the bass so much better. The drums also sound more bombastic, and even though the keyboards are slightly more in the background, I actually notice them more.

2. Not only is the sound generally heavier, but the songwriting is also more erratic and experimental, with most tracks breaking off into insane instrumental sections (the best of which are the climaxes of both Shades of Gray and Enchanted by the Moon, the keyboard solo into the guitar solo in Into the Abyss, and the incredible second half of A New Day).

3. Pretty much every song sounds different, or at least has its own identity. This is the primary appeal of Amorphis to me, and it's great to still see them doing new things. Narrow Path is the most folky they've ever gone, and Christ, it's so endlessly catchy.

4. I'm in the early stages of considering Shades of Gray and Enchanted by the Moon to be two of the best Amorphis songs of all time. They're definitely my two favourites off the album at the moment (doesn't surprise me they're both tracks that Esa wrote), and I'm trying to think of other songs from the Joutsen-era that sound as incredible. The second half of Enchanted by the Moon is simply unspeakable. Nightbird's Song is almost as good as these two but not quite there.

5. I think there could be a bit more use of harsh vocals, although I'm not even sure. I love that we have two classic Amorphis RAAAI's at the beginning of Shades of Gray and Nightbird's Song. Speaking of Nightbird's Song, it's really cool to hear Joutsen experimenting with more vocal techniques. I like the layered harsh/clean vocals in Mission and Narrow Path, and I'm wondering if Narrow Path would be even better if the versus were only growled.

Author:  OzzyApu [ Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

I've gone through a few listens of this, and I'm very thankful that the band kept this one under ten tracks (not including bonus track). It's the same Amorphis, but reinvigorated and with new flavoring. That goes a long way, as does the distinctiveness of each track. They started this Joutsen formula on a bang and this one does the same. Esa's leads are some of the best I've heard in this latter era Amorphis.

Author:  GuyOne [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

It is a lot more guitar-driven melody centric than the previous albums. Maybe going right back to their first few albums. This is a beautiful progression from The Beginning of Times. It seems for me that since Eclipse every odd album stands out. Eclipse, Skyforger and Circle stand out over Silent Waters and The Beginning of Times. They are both strong albums still but while listening to the songs it feels the band was losing their way with the ideas they brought to the table with those two.

Author:  Riffs [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

I'm still digesting it so my opinion is subject to change.

It's not a bad album but I'm having a hard time getting past Shades of Grey and it's absolutely horrible chorus. Seriously, that chorus would feel at home on the worst alt-rock and bubblegum punk bands.

I know Amorphis like their to write catchy parts in some of their songs but that's just cheesy, tacky and ugly. It's not really a success if your memorable chorus is memorably shitty.

Usually, I appreciate the catchier parts of Amorphis but on this album, it's the less accessible songs that I have appreciated so far. Joutsen is awesome as usual but the choice of vocal melodies were better on previous albums, IMO.

I don't know. Maybe it will grow on me.

Author:  Blizk [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Riffs wrote:
Usually, I appreciate the catchier parts of Amorphis but on this album, it's the less accessible songs that I have appreciated so far. Joutsen is awesome as usual but the choice of vocal melodies were better on previous albums, IMO.

Joutsen wrote the vocal lines alone this time, without Marco Hietala as vocal producer. Maybe that explains something for you as Joutsen has a certain alternative influence in his other bands like Sinisthra.

No problems with Shades of Gray here, one of the strongest tracks.

Author:  GuyOne [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Blizk wrote:
Riffs wrote:
Usually, I appreciate the catchier parts of Amorphis but on this album, it's the less accessible songs that I have appreciated so far. Joutsen is awesome as usual but the choice of vocal melodies were better on previous albums, IMO.

Joutsen wrote the vocal lines alone this time, without Marco Hietala as vocal producer. Maybe that explains something for you as Joutsen has a certain alternative influence in his other bands like Sinisthra.

No problems with Shades of Gray here, one of the strongest tracks.


Doing my second play through now and while there are some songs near the end of the album that stand out for other reasons I think Shades of Gray has the strongest vocal melody. This opinion could change.

Author:  lord_ghengis [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

It's pretty ok. It isn't all that different from the last few, so I'm far from blown away by the small differences and changes. It's definitely got a little bit of identity, so it's their best since Silent Waters by default, but I don't think the little new touches are enough to really impress above the first time they did it. Also, I don't think the heavy touches are all that great, they're still a melodic, poppy band, so trying to act tough in that sort of set up never works well. It's listenable, won't be a big favourite of mine, but solid enough.

Author:  Razakel [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Blizk wrote:
Joutsen wrote the vocal lines alone this time, without Marco Hietala as vocal producer. Maybe that explains something for you as Joutsen has a certain alternative influence in his other bands like Sinisthra.

No problems with Shades of Gray here, one of the strongest tracks.


Actually Peter TÃĪgtgren helped Joutsen with the vocal patterns, and is responsible for Joutsen experimenting with that higher range heard on Nightbird's Song and parts of Enchanted by the Moon.

And yeah, Shades of Gray's chorus is one of the best on the album. I'm currently in love with A New Day, what a freaking closer.

Author:  OzzyApu [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

GuyOne wrote:
It seems for me that since Eclipse every odd album stands out. Eclipse, Skyforger and Circle stand out over Silent Waters and The Beginning of Times. They are both strong albums still but while listening to the songs it feels the band was losing their way with the ideas they brought to the table with those two.

I thought I was the only one who thought this! I enjoyed Silent Waters and BoT, but I do think every other album was a better one than the last out of the past five.

Author:  Razakel [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Huh, Silent Waters is my favourite Joutsen-era album, but it could very likely be toppbled by Circle. Eclipse is amazing but it feels more like a collection of awesome songs, while Silent Waters has such a consistent atmosphere throughout.

Author:  OzzyApu [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Eclipse worked both as a collection of greats and as a full package, like Kalmah's first album. It showcased a band's newfound passion after the slump of FFTS and a great way of adapting that material with a new singer. Not to say that they haven't been doing that for the last five albums, but that was the best example of it as an introduction. It was nice, short (41 minutes), and structured very well all the way until "Empty Opening". The other albums feel more like a collection of great songs to me (like the middle tracks of Silent Waters).

Author:  Deviante [ Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

About 5 spins into the album now and it's definitely not growing stale yet. I think it has to do with all of the songs having their own identity, yet still fitting in the context of the album and its atmosphere, instead of somehow blurring together. That combined with the fact that the album length is pretty sweet this time around. There's not a single sucker on this album for sure and the production really fits this album. The guitars sound better and in general, it's just beautiful. I do think that the album could have had more harsh vocals: the sound is definitely heavier than on any other Joutsen-album, but there're less harsh vocals than on some Joutsen-albums, though not by much. Well, Joutsen's cleans are good to really good so it's no shame, but sometimes the transitions from growled verses to clean choruses seem a bit too sterile and predictable.

This or that, great craftmanship here! Prematurely speaking I feel that this is their 2nd best Joutsen-album after Eclipse, but that opinion might change in the coming weeks. Loving the album so far anyway.

Author:  Stabwound [ Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

It's a good album, and infinitely better than The Beginning of Times, which I thought was very limp-wristed and didn't really like at all. I find it hard to place above Eclipse, because I was blown the fuck away by the redemption of the band with that album and their new singer, but really it's probably my favourite Tomi-era album.

If nothing else, it's definitely the most "metal" album they've put out in a very long time, and I think it'll have more staying power than previous albums; I tend to listen to an Amorphis album once or twice and then shelve it. I've had Circle playing non-stop so far.

Author:  colin040 [ Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Hearing ''Shades of Grey'' definitely got me somehow interested in this band again. Now I know why I wrote them off though: the clean vocals just aren't great at all...and I definitely do not like how the songs have these popping out of nowhere on that one. They don't really fit I think.

''Hopless Days'' has a great, hard hitting intro riff and the intro of ''Enchanted by the Moon'' reminds me of Paradise Lost which is cool. I'll listen to this album a bit more for the upcomming days and see what I get out of it.

Author:  GuyOne [ Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

I really think Tomi did the best clean vocals on Eclipse. Second best being Skyforger... but it doesn't have that edgy emotional feel as much since then.

Author:  xpsychoblissx [ Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

I think this album is hands-down the best album they've done since Elegy and Tuonela... I really liked Eclipse, too, but this one just barely outshines it.

Author:  Slag [ Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

All of this positivity is getting me excited to hear it. When I get home I'll have to check the whole album out.

Author:  Subrick [ Wed Apr 17, 2013 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

So far this album is absolutely spectacular. Favorite songs right now are Shades of Gray and The Wanderer.

Author:  Razakel [ Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

^
Wait for Enchanted by the Moon; it's currently my favourite.

Author:  Subrick [ Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Finished the album hours ago. Add Nightbird's Song to that list.

Author:  Xlxlx [ Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

It's a pretty solid album. It's not spectacular, but it's quite a few steps above the slab of blandness that The Beginning of Times is, both in songwriting quality and variety. Highlights for me would be Shades of Gray, A New Day, Nightbird's Song, and Enchanted by the Moon. Especially Nightbird's Song. The tremolos in that tune wouldn't be out of place in a bloody Dissection album. I also appreciate the higher prevalence of Joutsen's growls, and his new, raspy screams are pretty cool too. If I had to score this, I guess it would be around the low 80's.

Author:  FantomLord17 [ Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

After one listen it feels like one of the better modern Amorphis albums. It is the heaviest of the five, which helps to distinguish and makes for a good change of pace, and it has some excellent melodies and riffs (which are something I rarely paid attention to in previous albums).
Also, I must mention that the bonus track "Dead Man's Dreams" is fantastic. Much better than the ones from other post-Eclipse albums. It has a very upbeat pace compared to the rest of the album, which I assume is the reason they decided to leave it outside the main tracklisting (other than, you know, all the business with bonus tracks). I wouldn't complain if they write more of these.

Author:  Blizk [ Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

FantomLord17 wrote:
Also, I must mention that the bonus track "Dead Man's Dreams" is fantastic. Much better than the ones from other post-Eclipse albums. It has a very upbeat pace compared to the rest of the album, which I assume is the reason they decided to leave it outside the main tracklisting (other than, you know, all the business with bonus tracks). I wouldn't complain if they write more of these.

It's actually the only bonus track I couldn't even think of being part of a modern Amorphis album proper, a true leftover. Too different and generic, the essential Amorphis sound is not present.

Author:  Cursarion [ Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

So... The normal version has 9 tracks, digipack version has one bonus track, some mailorder shit has two additional bonus tracks and Japanese edition has two different bonus tracks? For fuck's sake... :brick:

Author:  Razakel [ Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New Amorphis album, "Circle", released April 19th

Yeah, I guess I'd blame Nuclear Blast. It's dumb shit, but oh well, shouldn't be difficult to download all of the bonus tracks after buying whichever version of the album. The vinyl copy I'm getting has two of them, which is cool.

@FantomLord17: I agree, Dead Man's Dream is an amazing song. It might have sounded a bit strange on the album, but I actually think it would have worked in between Wanderer and Hopeless Days or something, since the first half of the album lacks a bit in intensity/heaviness after Shades of Gray. Whatever, though, at least it's available.

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