Amorphis Silent Waters

Despite the title of Amorphis’s new album, Silent Waters isn’t a collection of ambient instrumentals or lilting lullabies. Two records into their relationship with "new” vocalist Tomi Joutsen, the band have settled comfortably into a sound that lies somewhere between Elegy, Tuonela and 2007. That means Silent Waters’ heaviest moments (and there are many) pack a solid punch but that melody emerges as a pervasive force. The influence of the Finnish folk tradition on Amorphis’s songwriting is still intact lyrically as well as musically — the new songs are based on a cycle of poems about a hero from the Kalevala. The logic of naming a distinctly metal album for one of its softest tracks escapes me, unless it’s a bid to prove the band’s mainstream potential. But don’t let that mislead you. Silent Waters isn’t a commercialised compromise; it’s a convincing demonstration that Amorphis have much more left to say. (Nuclear Blast)