Review Summary: Amorphis once again showcase their amazing musical talent, this is as close to perfect as you can get.
We all have our favorites, we all know what kind of music makes us grin from ear to ear. For me, I love music which is dark and serene, melancholic and sorrowful, surreal and brooding. I want music which literally takes me away from it all, and like a narcotic, drags me into a world of bliss and serenity. I did not know what perfection was before I heard this, as a matter of fact I did not even believe that a band could create a "perfect" CD. Storm Of The Light's Bane
wasn't perfect, Blood Fire Death
wasn't perfect, Oceanic
wasn't perfect, The Gallery
wasn't perfect, even Blackwater Park
wasn't perfect. So why here, why now, do I look at an album so overlooked as Amorphis'
latest epic Silent Waters
as as close to perfect as music can be? Plain and simple; it is dark and serene, melancholic and sorrowful, surreal and brooding, all the factors which I look to find in my so called "perfect" album.
The fact that I almost didn't even buy this shocks me. I was actually looking for Amorphis'
previous album Eclipse
, but since the store didn't have any in stock, I went with their latest album Silent Waters
. I haven't heard anything Amorphis
has made since way back on Tales From The Thousand Lakes
, so I honestly didn't have a clue what this album was going to sound like. What I got was one of the biggest shocks of my life, an album so powerful and emotional I think it makes Opeth
look silly in comparison. The masterful guitar leads and solos, the surreal and haunting clean vocals, the furious death metal growls, the epic song structures, the classical piano, the acoustic guitars, the pounding drums, it's nearly impossible to take it all in with one listen. However, as the album spun in my car CD player on the way home I could do nothing but smile with pure glee at the monumental genius of this album. The way everything fits together and weaves within itself, the way it sounds like Amorphis
didn't even know or fathom how epic this album would turn out to be. Each song is a killer, most bands would only dream of making even one song like these in their entire career
, let alone a whole album of them.
The cover art is a masterpiece in itself, a scene of a dark and calm lake surrounded by the cold night air, the brooding forest, and the freezing moon. A single bird floats calmly in the lake, seemingly unaware of the epic, somber scenery looming behind it. The band's logo is entwined in a flowery plant, with the simple text of "Silent Waters" written underneath it. If the impressive cover art doesn't get you to buy this, the music contained within it will knock you to the floor. We have here 11 tracks, or chapters if you will, of one massive story. Seriously, you could combine this album into one 46 minute song and it would flow beautifully, the transitioning between songs is barely noticeable.
The guitars are obviously the strongest point of this album. They play some of the best, most melodic riffs I've heard in years. Take one listen to the riff in the flawless second track "A Servant" and you will know you have just heard genius songwriting at work. The guitars are pretty much constantly melodic, even epic at times. The choruses are usually where this showcased, but the guitar solos featured throughout the album show you that Amorphis
means serious business with their music. Also used very frequently is the acoustic guitars. They open songs on more than one occasion, like in "Enigma", "Shaman", and "Black River". It's worth noting here that the production on this album is pretty much as good as it gets, the picking on the acoustic guitar is very audible, and no instrument is too loud or too prominent. The drumming is extremely solid, keeping a good pace and variance throughout the playtime of the album. A sweet fill here or there is present, as well as some double bass work, but all in all the drums keep their presence known but never go over the top to be noticed or to stand out, something I'd like to see more.
Vocal wise, this is the album to end all albums. There is a fairly consistent transitioning between clean and growled vocals, both of which are some of the best I've heard in a long, long time. The growls have a tone much like the vocals of the awesome Doom Metal band Swallow The Sun
, being very low and throaty, adding the crushing and brutal atmosphere to most of the songs. The clean vocals are fantastic, they aren't whiny at all and are very, very relaxing to listen to. They shine in the choruses, where they often become really catchy and epic, such as the more or less orgasmic chorus to the title track Silent Waters
. No songs ever feel too short or rushed, and never drag on longer than they should, something I can't say about a lot of other band's out there. The song is over when it's over, and there are absolutely no filler tracks to make the album seem longer than it actually is.
As for standout tracks, each one is performed with the utmost quality and each track has something worth mentioning or something that stands out, but songs like "A Servant", "Silent Waters", "Shaman", "I Of Crimson Blood", and "Black River" go above and beyond expectations, putting the listener in a world of complete serenity and ecstasy.
I can say things like, "Well, the bass isn't noticeable at all points in every song", but that wouldn't be worth my time. When it comes down to the sound of Amorphis'
latest epic Silent Waters
I can tell you four simple words: "Album Of The Year". I'm sorry Dark Tranquillity
, I'm sorry Sigh
, I'm sorry everyone else, but the perfection here is like nothing I've heard in a long, long, long time. If you don't own this yet, you are missing out on the best album of 2007. Buy it. Love it. Embrace it.
+Fantastic, Top-Notch Vocals
+Guitars Create Some Amazing Melodies
+No Filler Tracks
+Crystal Clear Production
+Unmeasurable Amounts Of Musicianship
- None At All