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Amorphis - "Eclipse" (CD)

Amorphis - "Eclipse" CD cover image

"Eclipse" track listing:

1. Two Moons
2. House Of Sleep
3. Leaves Scar
4. Born From Fire
5. Under A Soil And Black Stone
6. Perkele (The God Of Fire)
7. The Smoke
8. Same Flesh
9. Brother Moon
10. Empty Opening

Reviewed by on June 9, 2006

"the interesting intros and powerful metal make this a worthwhile undertaking"

“Eclipse,” the latest full-length release from the Finnish band Amorphis, is an extremely diverse album. Ranging from brutal death vocals and thunderous guitar riffs to pop-like arrangements, one might be left wondering just who this band’s audience is or what direction Amorphis are headed in. While it is difficult to draw comparison to Amorphis, some of their lighter tracks are similar to Lacuna Coil, only with male vocals. The heavier songs still deliver that type of mid-ranged pacing, only with ferocious death-growls along the lines of Lamb of God (minus the high-pitch screaming). With the major success of Opeth, this style of blending the light and heavy is an obvious path, but unlike Opeth, Amorphis is clearly stronger in one suit. Therefore, the diversity of “Eclipse” can be a hindrance at times, especially when the death elements take a back seat. Nevertheless, the interesting intros and powerful metal make this a worthwhile undertaking.

The moments of death metal present in “Eclipse” are the fireworks of the album, surrounded in a murky cloud of melancholy clean vocals. Vocalist Tomi Joutsen delivers hard, inspired growls complimented by clean vocals on tracks such as “Leaves Scar,” “Perkele,” and “Smoke.” These songs demonstrate Amorphis at their best. When the clean vocals are all that are left, however, Amorphis is only average. Tracks such as “House of Sleep” and “Same Flesh,” for instance, might have many listeners stabbing at the skip button.

Finally, the outstanding introductions to each track must be applauded. Though brief, nearly every track leads with interesting music that sets a different type of mood than might be expected of a metal act. For example, the lead-in for “Leaves Scar” sounds like a day at a medieval festival, then thrusting the listener into a heavy death-metal verse. Moments like these are present throughout the album and provide a rare, diverse accentuation of heavy music.

What “Eclipse” accomplishes is twofold: it provides a unique metal experience with interesting musical arrangements, and at the same time it leaves the listener wishing that Amorphis would stick to heavy metal, which they play better than most in the business.

Highs: Track intros; the heavy vocals

Lows: The pop-esque songs

Bottom line: Definitley worth picking up, but who is the intended audience?

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)