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Amorphis

The Beginning of Times

Amorphis
If you've heard Silent Waters (2007) and Skyforger (2009), Amorphis's latest record, The Beginning of Times, might sound like another piece in an expanding sonic puzzle. The Finns' tenth studio album (re-recordings and other special releases aside) stretches the familiar mould a little but doesn't break it. The lilting melodies and solid riffs, the fusion of folk, prog and metal over a heavy rock base ― each new song sounds uncannily recognizable, even upon first listen and where the band reach out toward new ground. Turning again to Finnish mythology (here a character named Väinämöinen), The Beginning Times looks deep into the cultural past but, musically, the telling is utterly contemporary, even when it slips into the more traditional tones of a flute or acoustic guitar. The new album is longer, and features female vocals, but the most profound and subtle development might be the ever more seamless integration of each contributing facet ― guitar and keyboard leads, clean vocals and deep growls, rhythmic and harmonic support ― so that it's almost impossible to imagine these songs coming together in any other way. (Nuclear Blast)
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