Amorphis - Queen Of Time review




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Reviewer:
9.0

543 users:
8.82
Band: Amorphis
Album: Queen Of Time
Release date: May 2018


01. The Bee
02. Message In The Amber
03. Daughter Of Hate
04. The Golden Elk
05. Wrong Direction
06. Heart Of The Giant
07. We Accursed
08. Grain Of Sand
09. Amongst Stars
10. Pyres On The Coast
11. As Mountains Crumble [ bonus]
12. Brother And Sister [bonus]
13. Honeyflow [Japanese bonus]


I love it when an album's intro makes me think I'm about to witness the third season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Pardon me for a moment while I lament the lack of any such luck, but what better consolation prize than the new album from Amorphis, a band whose life-affirming elegance has made heavy metal a more fulfilling and artistic genre for nearly three decades now? The years since the turn wrought by Eclipse have pushed Amorphis onto a plane of never-ending acclaim, and Queen Of Time continues developing the rich, many-layered atmosphere that pushed Under The Red Cloud to the tops of everyone's 2015 lists.

Chief among Amorphis's many strengths in songwriting is the maturity of their sound. The blend of light and dark elements, the surge of power without pretension, the crystal-clear melodies, Tomi Joutsen's clarion vocals, the tasteful assimilation of instrumentation and cues from disparate genres - all facets of Amorphis bow towards the light of that which is seemly and beautiful. The complex compositional edifice never nullifies the basic heavy spirit, while the striking guitar riffs and guttural growls never overpower the lush, vivacious melodies; Queen Of Time sounds both fresh and familiar, both serene and electrifying.

Joutsen's folk-singer cleans and the driving rhythms keep the album grounded; the adventurous melodies, whether delivered by flute, saxophone, full orchestra and choir, or conventional lead guitars on an unpredictable streak, bring to Queen Of Time the same inexhaustible wellspring of progressively flavored folk metal, drawing on traditions of the East and West alike, that has fueled much of Amorphis's output this century. "Heart Of The Giant" satisfies the Orphaned Land requirement with its Middle Eastern spirit and energetic groove, followed by the distinctly Finnish "We Accursed"; the repeating riff in "Daughter Of Hate," the flutes of "Message In The Amber," and the lofty chorus of "The Bee" are catchy enough to stick in my head even when I've forgotten my own name.

"Amongst Stars," with its demulcent array of flutes and whistles and the eternally effervescent Anneke van Giersbergen providing guest vocals, makes a strong case for being the album's high point, but with "Daughter Of Hate," "The Bee," and "Heart Of The Giant," it's so difficult to choose just one favorite. It's something of a moot point anyway; who in their right mind would skip a single track on an Amorphis album? By and large, it seems that Queen Of Time follows Under The Red Cloud pound-for-pound. Personally, I'd even rate Queen Of Time just a cut above, but this, too, is a moot point; who in their right mind would skip a single album in Amorphis's discography? After a certain point, I mean.

Chrigel Glanzmann's contributions are even stronger than on Under The Red Cloud, and now Jørgen Munkeby joins the roster of guests with his extraordinarily in-demand saxophone, as well as several guest vocalists. This sound will capture the hearts of everyone who has been following Amorphis closely for the last decade; Queen Of Time is merely one more stunning installment in the seemingly endless victory lap these guys have found themselves in. I feel better about my life when I listen to this album.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8


 



Written on 13.05.2018 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments

Comments: 22   Visited by: 561 users
14.05.2018 - 00:07
nikarg
Old Nick
I was very optimistic about this. Now, I'm even more.
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14.05.2018 - 00:18
musclassia
Eclipse to Under The Red Cloud is a serious contender for the longest yet most consistently satisfying streak of releases I can think of, with UTRC arguably being a late career highpoint. This review is exactly the kind of eager enthusiasm I was hoping for
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14.05.2018 - 03:19
Darkside Momo
Retired
What nikarg and musclassia said, really.

On an unrelated subject
Quote:
I love it when an album's intro makes me think I'm about to witness the third season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Well, I've got that one for you. Not sure you're into EBM or not, but this copter sound...
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"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
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14.05.2018 - 04:03
ScreamingSteelUS
Editor-in-Chief
Written by Darkside Momo on 14.05.2018 at 03:19

What nikarg and musclassia said, really.

On an unrelated subject
Quote:
I love it when an album's intro makes me think I'm about to witness the third season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Well, I've got that one for you. Not sure you're into EBM or not, but this copter sound...


It's a bit outside my usual tastes, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me want to start singing in Russian, English, and Latin simultaneously.
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14.05.2018 - 04:21
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by ScreamingSteelUS on 14.05.2018 at 04:03

make me want to start singing in Russian, English, and Latin simultaneously.

I have the exact same feeling indeed
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"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
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14.05.2018 - 04:42
nikarg
Old Nick
[off-topic on] Front Line Assembly rule [off-topic off]
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14.05.2018 - 17:33
FYA
Destroyer
Written by nikarg on 14.05.2018 at 04:42

[off-topic on] Front Line Assembly rule [off-topic off]

It's not even a thesis, it's a fact.
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14.05.2018 - 21:31
Polaria
Fuck yeah , grabbing my copy this Friday!
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15.05.2018 - 02:38
kingeryck
Written by Darkside Momo on 14.05.2018 at 03:19

What nikarg and musclassia said, really.

On an unrelated subject
Quote:
I love it when an album's intro makes me think I'm about to witness the third season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Well, I've got that one for you. Not sure you're into EBM or not, but this copter sound...



Oh man I love FLA.
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15.05.2018 - 18:22
poison-evie
Another well written review. Thanks for the contribution! I really look forward to listening to Queen Of Time on release day!!! <3
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15.05.2018 - 21:16
Bad English
Masterchief
Nice emotional reviev, almost as derroz style, I like it, maybe your best
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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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16.05.2018 - 22:28
s_t_s
On my search to add more bands to my favourite list I'm currently giving this album a try now that The Bee is constantly hauting me ! Not quite a coup de coeur yet. Well I left Amorphis a long time ago with Tuonela, but I really want to love this band again. :p
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16.05.2018 - 22:40
Vermoorden
The Bee is such a great track. That misdirection with the opening was genius.
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17.05.2018 - 00:38
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by s_t_s on 16.05.2018 at 22:28

On my search to add more bands to my favourite I'm currently giving this album a try now that The Bee is constently hauting me ! Not quite a coup de coeur yet, well I left Amorphis long time ago with Tuonela, but I really want to love this band again. :p

Well, consider that each album they released with Tomi Joutsen isat least as good as Elegy
----
My Blog


"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
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17.05.2018 - 14:27
s_t_s
Will keep on listening but seemingly they went their way successfully since I left them by the side of the road.
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18.05.2018 - 21:34
NavyMetalMan
Just purchased the album in FLAC 48/24 format. I haven't been able to listen through the entire album, but so far, so good. I'll add more after a few good listens. In my opinion, Amorphis is one of the most consistently outstanding bands of the day, and this release so far seems to be following that trend.

Interestingly, since I've had this album, I've listed to it almost every day. It has that sound that makes me keep coming back. I've listed through the entirety of the album trying to identify the great from the good tracks, but as I listen, I find that I really like all of the tracks. My favorites are the first five, especially, Daughter of Hate. That's an absolutely superb song. The Golden Elk is also excellent. But not a single "throw away" track. I'll be listening to this one for years to come.

Take a listen in high resolution audio with high res headphones. It adds a whole new dimension to the album.
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18.05.2018 - 23:28
MetalManic
A passionate opinion with genuine merit. I too have been enamoured by this band since Eclipse.

I may be compelled to tick that production rating up by 1

Santeri Kallio on keyboards is a true hero of this band. Imagine their sound over the past 20 years without him. Damn!
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19.05.2018 - 05:57
Lanthros
This album has blown me the fuck away. Ot is just superb. The epic feeling is crushing. Daughter of Hate is a major standnout for me.
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22.05.2018 - 10:19
VforVendetta
Seriously a pure repetitive shit
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23.05.2018 - 01:43
The Evergreen
I have listened to about half of it on YouTube while waiting impatiently for my CD to arrive...
I love it.
It's not as good a Red Cloud, but it's damn close...and I may yet change my opinion.

There was some discussion a while (2015) back about making a lifetime achievement award. I think this is both deserved and appropriate for Amorphis. They may actually be the greatest band in existence (in my oh-so-humble opinion).
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27.05.2018 - 19:38
PapaZero0
I can't stop listening this album. I enjoy it so much, Amorphis do Under the Red Cloud on steroids.
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29.05.2018 - 00:04
nikarg
Old Nick
"I feel better about my life when I listen to this album" as well. Probably their best release with Tomi Joutsen.
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