Rating:
6.4
Amorphis - Skyforger
29 May 2009


01. Sampo
02. Silver Bride
03. From The Heaven Of My Heart
04. Sky Is Mine
05. Majestic Beast
06. My Sun
07. Highest Star
08. Skyforger
09. Course Of Fate
10. From Earth I Rose
11. Godlike Machine [bonus]
12. Separated [Japanese bonus]


Skyforger, released by Amorphis earlier this year, can be summed up with two words: one is commercial, and the other is safe. Generally the two go hand in hand when examining an album release, and this is the case with Skyforger. And while the album is filled with a multitude of grand and catchy choruses, the band refuses to experiment at all. Generally, the song structure for each and every song is exactly the same, and the song writing stays true to the same simple template throughout the course of the album. In fact, it can be said that by listening to the first three songs of the album, you have listened to the entire album already.

This is not entirely a bad thing, however. In fact, while almost all the songs sound similar, they are still quite enjoyable. You may even notice a few subtle twists and turns along the way as well. The song "Majestic Beast" probably strays the furthest from the other songs on the album, mostly due to the addition of growled vocals throughout most of the song; a nice change of pace from the first four. "Sampo" and "Silver Bride" are undoubtedly the highlights of the album, and essentially sum up the album in its entirety. Each includes the strongest chorus of the album, with "Sampo" indulging in a short but strong guitar and keyboard solo section at its climax.

Still, the album as a whole is mostly forgettable. The vague "folky" imagery of the lyrical content doesn't help the efforts of originality either. While I have heard that the album is based on the Finnish epic folklore poem entitled the "Kalavela", the lyrical content can basically be lumped into the same category as DragonForce's, in that they are too focused on conjuring images of fiction and fantasy than they are of establishing any type of distinct message or theme. There are occasional moments of originality in the form of a small flute solo (whether by keyboard or an actual flute I'm not sure). And as I have said, the chorus for nearly every song on the album is strong. Even so, many a chorus on this album could easily be confused for another. Fleetingly beautiful, yet painfully generic, Amorphis' Skyforger is a solid heavy metal release for 2009, but nothing more.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 10


Band profile: Amorphis
Album: Skyforger


 


written by Nosurper | 01.09.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Troy Killjoy - 01.09.2009 at 11:41  
Sampo and Silver Bride are amazing! Silver Bride especially, in my opinion. Yet what you say about the rest of the album is true. Just safe commercial music that sounds beautiful albeit unoriginal in terms of its lyrical content. I feel like they should have changed directions after Silent Waters, which offers the same imagery with more originality. I would have appreciated the use of more growls on this album as well, but that's another story.
enumaelis - 01.09.2009 at 12:18  
Skyforger is a little bit more letdown than the slow Silent Waters. Eclipse keeps as the best they have done in years, and these 2 both are just keeping somehow the line with not so good general songs and in a safe commercial way, as you said (and there are not so many growls anymore, just those few?).
If I could save half of the songs of Silent Waters as good ones, in this one I can just save a couple or 3, having the album the top of boredom in the central part and waking up a bit with the 8th Skyforger, a great song!
Pity as well, that the 11th song of each others Eclipse and Silent Waters were really good songs and this is just average.
I'm starting to get worried!XD Since some time ago I agree almost in every review... before I always thought there were too high rates XD
6 is far rating for me(it is anyway passing)
Nosurper - 01.09.2009 at 17:46  
Thanks for the comments guys!
Angel_Lament - 01.09.2009 at 18:43  
I think that Skyforger is the best album Amorphis has did besides Eclipse, and the review didn't fair it, thats all....
Sr Tumnus - 01.09.2009 at 19:57  
For me is a very good album!!!!
beautyfull song and he lyrics are ok... in the mood of Amorphis... 9 for me

10 for the producction is toomuch, remember the fail in the first edition... 9 is ok
elven - 02.09.2009 at 00:10  
Commercial? Safe? Forgettable? Generic? are we listening to the same album??? nah, dont think so, this album is simply BRILLIANT! 10/10
Mizer - 02.09.2009 at 20:00  
It's clear that this album is what Amorphis had in mind, when they decided to make Eclipse. I think this might just be the best album of the "Eclipse / Silent Waters / Skyforger -trilogy". The style is same as in the two previous albums, not as heavy though, but more melodic. But if you ask me, Amorphis never was the band I turned to, when I was in need of mindless growling and moshing.

Btw, criticising the music as "commercial" does never good for the review. I think the whole term should be banned, when talking about music. I mean, "uncommercial" is not some kind of cachet or sign of great quality. If that was the case, we should all be listening to something really uncommercial, like trashcan-banging with a pig squealing in the background. I bet that would be uncommercial, ergo, great music, huh?
Nosurper - 02.09.2009 at 21:27  
Written by Mizer on 02.09.2009 at 20:00

It's clear that this album is what Amorphis had in mind, when they decided to make Eclipse. I think this might just be the best album of the "Eclipse / Silent Waters / Skyforger -trilogy". The style is same as in the two previous albums, not as heavy though, but more melodic. But if you ask me, Amorphis never was the band I turned to, when I was in need of mindless growling and moshing.

Btw, criticising the music as "commercial" does never good for the review. I think the whole term should be banned, when talking about music. I mean, "uncommercial" is not some kind of cachet or sign of great quality. If that was the case, we should all be listening to something really uncommercial, like trashcan-banging with a pig squealing in the background. I bet that would be uncommercial, ergo, great music, huh?


Obviously you did not read the review very well. I said GENERALLY commercial and safe go hand in hand. Not once did I say that being commercial is a bad thing. The fact that it was safe is what does the album in. And I for one am not a fan of lyrical content so mindless. For example, I find Back in Black by AC/DC the quintessential hard rock album. Sure it is very commercial, but the Back in Black choice of title and album cover as a tribute to Bon Scott, coupled with production quality unbeatable for 1980, songwriting that couples a streamlined hard rock approch but adds a unique personality to each and every song. The bells on "Hells Bells", the infectious gang vocal chorus of "You Shook Me All Night Long", the speedy tempo incorporated for the immature, adolecent inspired "Shake a Leg", and the attitude of "Rock and Roll A'int Noise Pollution" where Brian Johnson calmly exhales a cigarette and displays the attitude and understanding for rock and roll that we all have saying "Rock and roll makes good, good sense." All the songs have their own personality and display their messages across though the music. The same cannot be said about this release, and if you can find some place where the lyrics have any influence in establishing a unique personality to almost any of these songs than more power to you, but I for one cannot and I stand by that. Musically it is strong, especially the choruses, but does nothing to make a name for itself in terms of lyrics. This makes the songs flow together, sound similar, develop no personality, and thus makes the album as a listening experience mediocre. Perhaps that explains to you more fully why I said what I did in the review.
Nosurper - 02.09.2009 at 22:01  
And I also forgot the mention that sleezy riff at mid-tempo that just brings out all of "Rock and Roll A'int Noise Pollution"s attitude. Love it.

I also agree with the above poster, I probably should have went with a 9 on production, but I put more stock into the overall anyway and I'm very comfortable with the 6.4.

Thats all, once again thanks to all for commenting. Regardless of opinion, I really appreciate it. No one said my opinion is right and its great to hear other perspectives on how they see the music.
Grimskallen - 03.09.2009 at 13:44  
I think its a stronger album than a 6.4, I don't really agree with all the fuss about being safe, unoriginal.
I see what you're getting at, but I don't really agree to that extent. This release should seen as something on its own feet, and as that I think it does the job as something powerful, melancholic and beautiful.
It does definitely have the unique Amorphis sound. But as I said, I see what you're getting at, and it has some weak moments and it can at times be considered weaker than Eclipse and Tales....but then again I'm glad they do not replicate their most successful sound or whatever, but rather just make what they think sounds good. (Even though I wouldn't mind some more stunning death grunt performances from Mr. Joutsen)
(Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one?)
Vitriolic Hate - 05.09.2009 at 14:33  
Written by Grimskallen on 03.09.2009 at 13:44

I think its a stronger album than a 6.4, I don't really agree with all the fuss about being safe, unoriginal.
I see what you're getting at, but I don't really agree to that extent. This release should seen as something on its own feet, and as that I think it does the job as something powerful, melancholic and beautiful.
It does definitely have the unique Amorphis sound. But as I said, I see what you're getting at, and it has some weak moments and it can at times be considered weaker than Eclipse and Tales....but then again I'm glad they do not replicate their most successful sound or whatever, but rather just make what they think sounds good. (Even though I wouldn't mind some more stunning death grunt performances from Mr. Joutsen)
(Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one?)

yeah it deserves more than 6.4 I will put it one 7.5-8
MétalNoir - 17.09.2009 at 02:09  
I can't believe you rate Skyforger 6.4... It's an outrage, really. I'm not that much into that kind of melodic, almost popp metal usually, but this album changed that, it's probably my number one album of 2009, I can't stop listening to it and even though you stated how catchy it is and all that, I can't agree with "generic" and "all songs sound the same". Yes, the structure is pretty similar for most songs, but there is a wide variety in there. Some songs are indeed very folkish, especially the title song, while others are almost melodeath/doom (Majestic Beast). Sky is Mine sounds like EToS and Silver Bride has a pop-rock chorus. No, this album is not forgettable. Well, I certainly won't forget it, but that's just me.
enumaelis - 21.09.2009 at 04:47  
Written by MétalNoir on 17.09.2009 at 02:09

I can't believe you rate Skyforger 6.4... It's an outrage, really. I'm not that much into that kind of melodic, almost popp metal usually, but this album changed that, it's probably my number one album of 2009, I can't stop listening to it and even though you stated how catchy it is and all that, I can't agree with "generic" and "all songs sound the same". Yes, the structure is pretty similar for most songs, but there is a wide variety in there. Some songs are indeed very folkish, especially the title song, while others are almost melodeath/doom (Majestic Beast). Sky is Mine sounds like EToS and Silver Bride has a pop-rock chorus. No, this album is not forgettable. Well, I certainly won't forget it, but that's just me.

Try listening Eclipse and afterwards this.
MétalNoir - 21.09.2009 at 20:32  
Written by enumaelis on 21.09.2009 at 04:47

Written by MétalNoir on 17.09.2009 at 02:09

I can't believe you rate Skyforger 6.4... It's an outrage, really. I'm not that much into that kind of melodic, almost popp metal usually, but this album changed that, it's probably my number one album of 2009, I can't stop listening to it and even though you stated how catchy it is and all that, I can't agree with "generic" and "all songs sound the same". Yes, the structure is pretty similar for most songs, but there is a wide variety in there. Some songs are indeed very folkish, especially the title song, while others are almost melodeath/doom (Majestic Beast). Sky is Mine sounds like EToS and Silver Bride has a pop-rock chorus. No, this album is not forgettable. Well, I certainly won't forget it, but that's just me.

Try listening Eclipse and afterwards this.

I hope Eclipse is better than Silent Waters, cause from the two last albums, Skyforger is the best.
enumaelis - 22.09.2009 at 03:14  
Written by MétalNoir on 21.09.2009 at 20:32

Written by enumaelis on 21.09.2009 at 04:47

Written by MétalNoir on 17.09.2009 at 02:09

I can't believe you rate Skyforger 6.4... It's an outrage, really. I'm not that much into that kind of melodic, almost popp metal usually, but this album changed that, it's probably my number one album of 2009, I can't stop listening to it and even though you stated how catchy it is and all that, I can't agree with "generic" and "all songs sound the same". Yes, the structure is pretty similar for most songs, but there is a wide variety in there. Some songs are indeed very folkish, especially the title song, while others are almost melodeath/doom (Majestic Beast). Sky is Mine sounds like EToS and Silver Bride has a pop-rock chorus. No, this album is not forgettable. Well, I certainly won't forget it, but that's just me.

Try listening Eclipse and afterwards this.

I hope Eclipse is better than Silent Waters, cause from the two last albums, Skyforger is the best.

Yes absolutely, under my point of view it is the best of the last 3 albums, and I did that some days ago, playing Eclipse and after that Skyforger, and I find a big difference, IMO
MétalNoir - 22.09.2009 at 16:05  
Written by enumaelis on 22.09.2009 at 03:14

Written by MétalNoir on 21.09.2009 at 20:32

Written by enumaelis on 21.09.2009 at 04:47

Written by MétalNoir on 17.09.2009 at 02:09

I can't believe you rate Skyforger 6.4... It's an outrage, really. I'm not that much into that kind of melodic, almost popp metal usually, but this album changed that, it's probably my number one album of 2009, I can't stop listening to it and even though you stated how catchy it is and all that, I can't agree with "generic" and "all songs sound the same". Yes, the structure is pretty similar for most songs, but there is a wide variety in there. Some songs are indeed very folkish, especially the title song, while others are almost melodeath/doom (Majestic Beast). Sky is Mine sounds like EToS and Silver Bride has a pop-rock chorus. No, this album is not forgettable. Well, I certainly won't forget it, but that's just me.

Try listening Eclipse and afterwards this.

I hope Eclipse is better than Silent Waters, cause from the two last albums, Skyforger is the best.

Yes absolutely, under my point of view it is the best of the last 3 albums, and I did that some days ago, playing Eclipse and after that Skyforger, and I find a big difference, IMO

Yes, I'll certainly try Eclipse soon. As long as the vocals are as awesome as they are on SW and Skyforger, it can't be a bad album, right?
neonxaos - 06.10.2009 at 16:11  
Seriously think this album is a solid effort. It's easy listening, but I actually like that about it. Several of the tunes are also extremely catchy. An 8 from me.
Valaskjalf - 07.10.2009 at 17:08  
Agree with the rating, prob around 6.8 for me...close to good but not quite so it hovers around average. Also agree that it is forgettable for the most part, apart from Sampo, Heaven of my Heart and My Sun, the rest of the album is pretty disappointing.
Morphis - 01.11.2009 at 17:25  
Good review.

As an old fan of aMorphis after two brillant albuns i was expecting more from this one.

If this is the 1st album that you have listened from Amorphis you most likely give it a better ratting, but if you know the band work and all their phases from 1990 you can't give this one more than 7/10.
ioannisk - 01.11.2009 at 23:07  
Written by Morphis on 01.11.2009 at 17:25

Good review.

As an old fan of aMorphis after two brillant albuns i was expecting more from this one.

If this is the 1st album that you have listened from Amorphis you most likely give it a better ratting, but if you know the band work and all their phases from 1990 you can't give this one more than 7/10.


agreed 100% especially if you've listened to Elegy, Tuonela, Am universum
Ragana - 03.12.2009 at 00:18  
IMO, the album deserves 7. I surely liked it more than "Eclipse" or "Silent Waters".
The bad thing is that, same as with all other VERY melodic music albums, this one gets boring after one has listened to it for a several times. But then again, it's always cool to listen to these albums after some time.

P.S. The poem is called "Kalevala".
And, haven't you noticed, the last two albums were all over catchy songs, so this is nothing new. 'Skyforger' just sounds a bit different.
Uirapuru - 19.02.2010 at 04:37  
I dont know what to think. This is the most normal album i've listen to in my entire life. Good, but not so much, this album can very easily be used to describe the word ''average''.

''painfully generic'' the term used on the review was very accurate.
Deadmeat - 12.08.2010 at 12:24  
I agree that the album is a bit safe. i dont know if they did it for commercial reasons or not but this album is really great. beautiful. i think it is the most complete album in the "trilogy". though i'd love it if it had some more "angry" songs with some more brutal vocals. but i really believe that it is amorphis most "complete" creation. it is really rare in these days to listen to an album which has as many great songs as this has..
roger73 - 25.08.2010 at 16:16  
Hm. Same safeness and catchyness was at Eclipse. But then it was ok, because it was after "psychodelic rock" period". Everybody loved it. Why it is now bad?
This album is good, nice and yes, also versatile (if you compare "From The Heaven Of My Heart" with "Majestic Beast" with "Skyforger". I think that you don't like only because of lack of growls in more then two songs. But for me it is ok - it's not melodeath anymore, it's not psychorock - it's heavy metal from the finest
andreas.santamaria@g - 19.09.2010 at 21:36  
Written by elven on 02.09.2009 at 00:10

Commercial? Safe? Forgettable? Generic? are we listening to the same album??? nah, dont think so, this album is simply BRILLIANT! 10/10


Thanx, absolutely true, outstanding album!
Milena - 04.03.2011 at 22:34  
This is a perfect album by all means. And by the way, the last two albums, which you likes better, had lyrics based on Kalevala too, so I don't see what's the fuss about it; and they're beautiful, touching, and you should really be ashamed by comparing them to Dragonforce (whose every song starts 'on a cold winter morning', or 'a cold dark winter night' or whatever).
But, yeah, everyone's entitled to their own opinion, I just wanna support the other side of the story like all these people commenting
Destructo - 09.04.2011 at 07:23  
I am a newcomer to Amorphis having heard 2007's "Silent Waters", which I enjoyed. But the hype surrounding the band was immense. Felt that I needed a better album to really "get" this band. This new album delivered that for me. Quite impressed with what I've heard. Am now eagerly looking to hear there older albums especially - Tales From A Thousand Lakes" which is considered their magnum opus. I'm now definitely an Amorphis fan !!!
Troy Killjoy - 10.04.2011 at 01:11  
Written by Destructo on 09.04.2011 at 07:23

Am now eagerly looking to hear there older albums especially - Tales From A Thousand Lakes" which is considered their magnum opus.

Have fun with that album - it's amazing.
MetalWizard - 20.04.2013 at 21:57  
With out a doubt the guy that did the review on this album really missed the greatness of this album, as it was album of the year in the MS Awards!

I have listened to this album many times with different people that some of them do not even listen to Metal, and absolutely NONE of them failed to ask me, who is playing? That is the true sing of greatness, where the music is so powerful that it transcend music geners and impact the listener in such manner that he or she feels the need to know who is the creator of such sound.

Skyforger is unique, powerful, melodic, and album for the ages and one of the best metal albums ever!!

It an out of this world album that it is going to be very hard for Amorphis to top.

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