Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud review




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Reviewer:
8.8

668 users:
8.69
Band: Amorphis
Album: Under The Red Cloud
Release date: September 2015


01. Under The Red Cloud
02. The Four Wise Ones
03. Bad Blood
04. The Skull
05. Death Of A King
06. Sacrifice
07. Dark Path
08. Enemy At The Gates
09. Tree Of Ages
10. White Night [feat. Aleah Stanbridge]
11. Come The Spring [Digipak & 2LP bonus]
12. Winter's Sleep [Digipak & 2LP bonus]
13. The Wind [Japanese bonus]


Amorphis is one of the sure values coming out of Finland. Everybody knows (or should know) their early history as a melodic death band. 1994's Tales From The Thousand Lakes remains to this day a classic album. These musicians have been together over 10 years with their current lineup. Emblematic singer Tomi Joutsen was the last piece of the puzzle that led them to a trailblazing second career that started in 2005 with the release of Eclipse. Let's fast forward to 2015. Under The Red Cloud, with that eye-catching psychedelic artwork, is their 12th studio release expected September 4th through Nuclear Blast.

After 5 high-quality albums the band decided to change horizons by holding recording sessions in the famed Fascination Street Studios in Örebro, Sweden. Producer Jens Bogren pushed the guys to sound more aggressive but also to be more adventurous. Oriental melodies and folk influences make their apparition while tracks have more edge. Bogren's history with bands like Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, Moonspell and Kreator must have helped shape this harsher sound. In this framework, Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari both seem to have rekindled their love for those crushing melodic guitar leads. Drummer Jan Rechberger is having a grand old time blasting beats, Niclas Etelävuori fills in his role as bassist extraordinaire to perfection. Santeri Kallio manages to steal the spotlight at times with his piano and keys. Tomi Joutsen continues to assert himself as one of the finest vocalists in the genre. More importantly, the band really emerges as one unit, tight and impressive all the way through.

A few guest appearances add another dimension to the songs. Chrigel Glanzmann [Eluveitie] produces his flute magic on a couple of tunes. Martin Lopez [Soen, ex-Opeth] plays percussions on "Death Of A King" and Aleah Stanbridge [Trees Of Eternity] provides some intriguing female vocals. As a result, tracks on Under The Red Cloud are more distinct than on their previous albums.

Under The Red Cloud is a 50-minute offering of a more varied brand of Amorphis. It features memorable moments, an edgier sound and above all, killer tracks. It is impossible for me to pick a favorite one. I have been listening to this band for a long time. This new album is easily on par with their best albums to date, if not better.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


 



Written on 28.08.2015 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 674 users
28.08.2015 - 01:25
Enemy of Reality
Crushing melodic guitar leads, piano and keys, blasting beats, flute, female vocals... jebus....

I'm intrigued by all that variety. Can it be as good as Skyforger?
I'm a huge Amorphis fan. Every album since Eclipse is a winner, the reviews i've read so far about this new one say wonders about it, so i guess Amorphis did it again.
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28.08.2015 - 01:51
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
If this album actually surpasses Circle, I'll need an extra-large bucket to fill with my...delight.
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28.08.2015 - 20:10
Doge of Venice
See, Circle's downside was it's upside. It was so 'round' and perfectly balanced that it didn't leave much highs or lows. It was like a 7 or an 8 throughout the entire album. Which isn't bad, but it didn't leave much room for those "oh, wow!" moments. From the sounds of this review this album seems to be as consistently good as Circle, but with more variety. Hopefully that variety can provide those 'Wow' moments this time around.
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28.08.2015 - 21:32
musclassia
I hope it's as good as you make it sound. I loved Circle and pretty much everything since Joutsen joined, so hopes are high.
Surprised to see comments about Circle here and elsewhere that make it sound 'samey'. In between Narrow Path, Mission, Nightbird's Song, Enchanted By The Moon and A New Day I thought it offered quite a wide-stretching and dynamic journey that allowed the obviously standout moments to shine. I still don't really like Hopeless Days, but I think the album's excellent
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28.08.2015 - 23:07
Bad English
Masterchief
I am interested to hear this one
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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29.08.2015 - 00:58
Teravolt_Danny
Written by LeKiwi on 28.08.2015 at 01:51

If this album surpasses actually Circle, I'll need an extra-large bucket to fill with my...delight.


Nice save.
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29.08.2015 - 03:07
LeKiwi
High Fist Prog
Written by musclassia on 28.08.2015 at 21:32

I hope it's as good as you make it sound. I loved Circle and pretty much everything since Joutsen joined, so hopes are high.
Surprised to see comments about Circle here and elsewhere that make it sound 'samey'. In between Narrow Path, Mission, Nightbird's Song, Enchanted By The Moon and A New Day I thought it offered quite a wide-stretching and dynamic journey that allowed the obviously standout moments to shine. I still don't really like Hopeless Days, but I think the album's excellent

This.
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04.09.2015 - 22:14
Candlemass
Defaeco
Wonderful album
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07.09.2015 - 23:56
Poat
Mmmm yea it's heavy. Overall I'd say it's heavy.

Heavy Score: 6 out of 10

For ranking system see: Poat's Heavy Ranking System
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10.09.2015 - 07:12
DJ Cosimoto
Death of a king is a killer track. The best they have produced with jousten and the best since early Melo death days. My boys are back!
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29.01.2016 - 10:34
s_t_s
Hmm this review found me interested as well even tho I quit listening to Amorphis years ago after Tuonela... Time to give them a second listening
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03.03.2017 - 22:46
Netzach
A great comeback after a streak of average albums... Their best since Eclipse and Silent Waters!
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