Amorphis
Silent Waters


4.5
superb

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
November 22nd, 2007 | 18 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not for purists, but everyone else should give this album a shot as it's an accessible and remarkably good blend of different metal aspects...

2007's been a great year for music so far: especially a lot of good metal was released this year, including the new Symphony X, the new Pain of Salvation (hate me, yo), the new Dark Tranquillity, and then I'm not close to finished yet! Well, prepare yourself, as we can add another album to this list. Amorphis, Finnish sextet, unleash their eighth album, entitled "Silent Waters", upon us, and behold another album that ranks among the best releases of this year.

What Amorphis does on this album is basically this: take one part death metal (Finnish style). Mix with liberal folk influences, blend in clean vocals and acoustic passages, add some proggy keyboards and layered atmospheres, and simmer for a while. Cool it down a little before serving: Amorphis don't play it scorching hot like some other metal bands. Instead, they keep the tempo to a nice mid-paced groove.

This (rather wise) decision reveals another key factor about what makes the album so good: The tempo at which they play ensures all the disparate influences don't blend into either a wall of noise covered up with wildly distorted guitars, nor does it become so slow that the songs start to drag or run into each other. Instead of settling for a tepid borefest or an overdone metal assault, they keep it nice and simple. Added to that are the concise song lengths (nothing on here runs for more than 6 minutes) which is a great setting for some good hooks to be stuffed in without musical themes having to be repeated ad nauseam.

Amorphis seem to have taken that cue well, as the most brilliant thing about this album is not that it contains musical influences as far removed from each other as the pseudo-Korpiklaani twin-set of folk songs Enigma and Shaman, or the melodious old-school melodeath infused Weaving the Incantantion. It's that they imbue their songs with a good old dose of melody and passion as well, making the meld palatable for first-time listeners: the title track boasts an impressive hook with a grand guitar solo halfway and "Her Alone", for my money, has one of the best choruses of the year. They even include some quasi-Nightwish piano/keyboard plonking in the bridge, which just adds to the melodic force of the song.

Much has also been made and said of the vocalist change, but the singer's voice is more than bearable. In fact he carries many songs home: "I of Crimson Blood" is nearly a showcase of his vocal capabilities, whereas A servant proves he can't just sing, he can also growl without sounding cheesy or silly. And his vocal melodies absolutely rule on many of the choruses, which ensures the songs aren't just well-written and well-played; they are also consistently memorable, giving the album a great amount of replay value. Moreover, the layers and different styles that permeate the album still give listeners the opportunity to find something new and interesting in each subsequent spin.

Amorphis may not be favoured highly by metal purists who don't like anything after Tales From a Thousand Lakes anymore, but then again, this was never what the band (or music, for that matter) was all about. With this new album they've provided not only a technically flawless interpretation of old and new work, they've also imbued it with a sense of veracity, melody and God-knows-how-many hidden gems of hooks. This accessible amalgam of musically distant spectra is one to haunt your cd player for a while. What do you mean, should I buy it?



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user ratings (592)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheStig (5)
Melodic, heavy and captivating throughout it's entirety....

Kyle Ward STAFF (5)
Amorphis once again showcase their amazing musical talent, this is as close to perfect as you can ge...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Zoo
November 22nd 2007


3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You pretty much broke this album down right on the money in the second paragraph. Another quality review. I'll vote.

One more for the century mark, Alt. What's it gonna be?This Message Edited On 11.22.07

Altmer
November 22nd 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know. I'm probably gonna do something concept-y. I'll make it extra special, I have something in mind already. I've already reviewed most of my 5s (bar a couple), but I've got some ideas; haven't yet mapped it out completely.

But I want it to totally kick ass.

Yazz_Flute
November 22nd 2007


18787 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, this is one of my favorite releases this year, probably second or third, seeing as BTBAM is my favorite.

Towards and Against is my personal favorite, and The White Swan, A Servant, the title tack, and Weaving the Incantation round out my top 5.

Her Alone is probably my least favorite here. I can' really explain why exactly, but nothing really jumps out at me in that song.

Digging: Finch (US) - Say Hello to Sunshine

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2007


6094 Comments


You could start the review with the second paragraph and it'd read better. The first paragraph just seems unnecessary, as does the final line. Otherwise, this is a very good review for a good album.

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 22nd 2007


3709 Comments


[quote=Weaving the Incantation]This precious hairbrush, thrown at the wall
it came to me from my father
...
when my sap is dripping from it's shaft [/quote]lol

nice review, might check this out This Message Edited On 11.22.07

Altmer
November 22nd 2007


5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The lyrics are based on the Finnish national epic poem called the Kalevala. This is supposed to be an episode of it...

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 22nd 2007


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best album of 2007.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Mikesn
Emeritus
November 22nd 2007


3709 Comments


oh.

Reeke
November 22nd 2007


61 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I LOVE this album.

Im normally not into death influenced music because the growls/grunts dont do much for me, but the vocals on this are amazing, he can do everything well from the clean singing to the growls.

rasputin
November 22nd 2007


14546 Comments


This album is superb. I've been listening to it non-stop since I got it. A very good review too, gets my vote.

Tyler
Emeritus
November 22nd 2007


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's good. It's not amazing.

Jim
November 27th 2007


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

can't believe i don't have this yet.
looking forward to review 100 :thumb:

Wizard
November 27th 2007


19443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I checked this album out again (for about the 10th time). Overhyped is a word that gets used alot around here, but I find it fits appropriately with this album. There is nothing special or new here. Some of the songs actually sound as if they were lifted from Opeth's more heavy/singing moments. Great review, I guess I just don't get Amorphis hahahaha.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2007


16410 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This sounds absolutely NOTHING like Opeth IMO. Ive listened to this album at least 20 times since I bought it and I still stand by my rating.

Wizard
November 27th 2007


19443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really? I hear Opeth all over the place with this album (minus the crazy time signatures). Its the parts where he sings over the heavier guitar riffs, it kind of sounds like Mikael singing over the heavy parts in Opeth? I don't know, thats just my perspective on it. Your opinion is respected by me none the less!

Tyler
Emeritus
November 27th 2007


7926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not too Opethian but it's still grossly overrated.

Wizard
December 17th 2007


19443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Opethian hahahahahah! I'm going to consider having my middle name changed to that!

Jim
December 18th 2007


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i really don't hear opeth at all on this album.



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