Diversity is one of the keywords in the beautiful world of Metal. Endless discussions take […]
April 3, 2006
Amorphis - Eclipse album cover

Diversity is one of the keywords in the beautiful world of Metal. Endless discussions take place when a well known band plots a new course or evolves as they usually call it. In some cases they fail miserably to keep the original fan base, like the band whose name shouldn't be mentioned otherwise a shit-storm of lawsuits will hit my front door. Other cases create new fans while keeping most of the old ones in the process. Take Anathema, Paradise Lost and Amorphis for example. Sure, the grunts are gone but the ending results ranged from very good to excellent; of course we will always miss albums like Serenades (1993), Icon (1993) or Tales From The Thousand Lakes (1994).
After Amorphis' vocalist Pasi Koskinen left to become the vocalist in various bands (definitely check Ruoja), he was replaced by Tomi Joutsen and everyone was curious on the outcoming result. I'll just make it short, what we have here is probably the best album for this year; I'd be surprised if anything managed to top this.
I'm a fan of their old and new work alike so what could be better for me than a perfect mix of both of their worlds? Eclipse takes the best elements out of the entire previous discography and creates a blend that will drive every Metal fan's neck to the extremes. I have friends who swear by its name already, from Hair Metal to Black Metal fans and yes, according to recent experiments - namely this album - those people can coexist under the flag of a truly great piece of work.
Two Moons is the opener of the album and it shows what's about to follow. Psychedelic keyboards for the intro, growling guitars straight from Tuonela (1999) and Tomi's vocals kicking your ass to Peru and back. Unless you're already in Peru which wouldn't make it much of a trip. House Of Sleep has a really catchy main riff that nails itself to the back of your mind and that's probably the reason why it was the first selection for a video clip. Usually catchy riffs accompany an otherwise boring song but that's not the case, everything down to the short mellow part with the piano and the keyboards sounds just perfect.
Leaves Scar just screams Tales From The Thousand Lakes meets Tuonela. Yet another riff that will engrave itself onto your Medula Oblongata  and no, I didn't just call you an asshole in Latin. But the vocals, oh your God, the vocals! I really missed such a combination of simply amazing grunts with normal vocals, this is the song that placed Tomi straight into my black heart (with some shades of grey and a touch of red). No, I don't smoke.
If that song doesn't manage to severe your head from the rest of your body, your listening pleasure (which in our case comprises of insane headbanging followed by various inarticulate screams) continues with Born From Fire. Not much to say about this one. More like yell really loud On the day I was born, they denied my rights, even the right to die. Hell yeah, I just love to sing along that refrain.
Under A Soil And Black Stone has two parts; up to the middle it gives you a melancholic and mellow feeling and after that it picks up the pace and the trademark sound of the Amorphis guitar and keyboards combination unfolds, to give its place to another powerbomb, Perkele (God of Fire).
Even though Perkele is also a Finnish curse, this one is a blessing to my ears from the first grunting IIIIIII, I WOKE UUUUP. This is the most representative song of their new meets old sound, every special attribute of this band's past parades through your ears and straight into your already brainwashed mind, something that continues to The Smoke that develops from the acoustic guitar and piano intro and normal vocals to another growiling extravaganza. I know it's like the twentieth time I mention that but I do believe that the band hit the Jackpot with Tomi. He's just a perfect match for their already excellent songwriting ability.
Same Flesh is a perfect sample of the melancholic side of the Finns. Simply beautiful. Another acoustic guitar intro for Brother Moon and a song that will become a live classic unfolds before your ears. I can just hear the crowd chanting along yet another mind binding riff found in this album. Empty Opening signifies the part where I'm starting to run out of words because I'm afraid I may start repeating myself; the good news is that it's the last song of the album so I don't need to say anything more than to point out the fact that its level is way up there with the rest of the songs. The bad news is that it's the last song of the album so there's nothing more to listen to, but wait! There's a bonus track so not everything is lost. Damn it, I have to find something new to say for Stonewoman. Oh what the Hell, you already know that it's impossible to find a bad or mediocre song in this album, so just get your ass to the nearest record store and buy it.
I was sad when Pasi left, glad when I listened to his own project and I couldn't be happier when I listened to Eclipse. I wouldn't even dream of such a return especially with a vocalist I'd heard nothing about before. The production is top notch, the music is fucking amazing and the songs are simply beautiful. In case you don't know it, this is a concept album based on Finland's epic Kalevala and it just reminded me that I have to read it eventually.
You can't really label their music; it's appealing to all metalheads (and perhaps to some beyond that) and that's an accomplishment already. It's a big slap in the face of all those who say that this decade was mean to the overall quality of Metal, which in my opinion is major purebred Arabian horse shit, which is quite a lot, those fuckers eat tons of weed; not the smoking kind. Enough talking, do yourself a favor and get this one.

10 / 10


"Eclipse" Track-listing:

Two Moons   
House Of Sleep   
Leaves Scar   
Born From Fire   
Under A Soil And Black Stone   
Perkele (The God Of Fire)   
The Smoke   
Same Flesh   
Brother Moon   
Empty Opening   
Stonewoman (Bonus Track)

Amorphis Lineup:

Tomi Joutsen - Vocals
Tomi Koivusaari - Guitar
Esa Holopainen - Guitar
Niclas Etelavuori - Bass
Jan Rechberger - Drums
Santeri Kallio - Keyboards

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