Amorphis - Elegy review
|Release date:||May 1996|
01. Better Unborn
02. Against Widows
03. The Orphan
04. On Rich And Poor
05. My Kantele
07. Song Of The Troubled One
08. Weeper On The Shore
11. My Kantele (Acoustic Reprise)
Back in 1996, I was still quite new to the ways of Metal, and I was more looking for brutality than melody. So when I first listened to this album, the melodic side didn't appeal to me, and I haven't cared that much.
But, later on, after discovering Amorphis's previous album Tales From The Thousand Lakes, memories from Elegy came back to haunt me… The electro break of Cares… The mesmerizing riff of Against Widows… And now that I listen to this album again, I realise that it is a masterpiece!
This album is, as their previous one, based on a compilation of Finnish tales, called the Kanteletar (whereas Tales From The Thousand Lakes was inspired by another work called the Kalevala). Quoting the booklet: " the Kanteletar reflects the everyday joys and sorrows of the Finnish people, including their philosophical and religious beliefs, and paints a comprehensive picture of the society that inspired it. Although it's impossible to determine the age of some poems, many are literally thousands of years old. " This feeling is, as usual with Amorphis, very well transmitted with the music… The mood is mostly melancholic, but not always.
The folk side of the music is not overwhelming, being used lightly. For example, the riff from Against Widows is a humppa (kinda polka from Finland) melody, but it sounds really metal because it's played as usual, with guitars and distortion. Overall, this adds more to the mood of the album, which is to me a visit in Finland's past and folklore, made just more understandable for us modern people by adapting it with modern music.
Amorphis does not hesitate to add very modern sounds in their metal (in Cares most notably), going further this way than they did in their previous album, on the song Magic & Mayhem.
Finally, this album is pivotal in Amorphis career, making the link with their Death metal roots and their more gothic present. And singer Pasi Koskinen joined the band for this album…
Conclusion: death, melodic, folk, a bit of electro, centuries old lyrics. All this to create a definitive classic. And you haven't listened to it yet? What are you waiting for?
Highlights: all, but I prefer Against Widows, Cares, Song Of The Troubled One
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