Amorphis Queen of Time

Amorphis Queen of Time
8
Amorphis must get really sick of being genre-pigeonholed. They've never stuck to one style for long, ranging from folk to prog to epic Finnish death metal, often within the same song. Despite a general climb towards a softer, more mainstream appeal, it's still genuinely impossible to tell what you'll get with a new Amorphis album.
 
Taken on its own, without all the history, Queen of Time is great. Fans of Dimmu Borgir, Kamelot and even Amon Amarth will be able to raise their drinking horns to the record's heaviest parts. Amorphis always know to throw in a twist though, whether it's the flute solo in "We Accursed," the brief jazz flash in "Daughter of Hate" or the introspective opening of "Heart of the Giant." It's inconsistent, jumping wildly all over the place on every track, but the band lean heavily on their symphonic roots throughout.
 
This is an extremely Finnish-sounding record, so be prepared for galloping rhythms and lots of Viking motifs. But Amorphis still manage to sound like no one else. Maybe it's the excellent production, but there's an elegance to Queen of Time that was missing on previous releases. (Nuclear Blast)