Amorphis
Skyforger


2.5
average

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
May 20th, 2009 | 348 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Amorphis move farther into progressive rock with unfortunate results.

When Amorphis’ opening song on Silent Waters began with a roar and continued by displaying the best of the band’s prog and metal sides, it set the tone for an album that ended up being near flawless. So, when Skyforger started with a simple piano melody before segueing into laid-back prog, it caused a little concern. The band had tried their hand at minimalist prog before on Far From the Sun, failing miserably, and it seemed that the band were poised to repeat those mistakes. Fortunately, a complete run-through of Skyforger alleviated concerns of another Far From the Sun fiasco, but initial listens can be deceiving.

Preliminary listens confirmed that the band was trying their hand at a more prog-oriented album, but it also appeared that they had pulled it off. It seemed that they had learned from their past mistakes and had retained the strong melodies, death growls and stylish keyboard accompaniment of the past but had integrated those elements into prog rock structures that pushed the clean vocals and choruses to the forefront. This blend of strong guitar melodies and catchy choruses resulted in an album that’s instantly appealing and enjoyable. Due to this outcome, it didn’t seem to matter that the death growls had been relegated mostly to a support role or that heavier sections were few. Unfortunately, the immediate nature of the songs and the focus on moderately paced prog also results in a quick decline in replay value that will ultimately be the album’s undoing.

After a handful of listens a lot of negative elements that might not originally be apparent start to become more evident. The main problem is that the choruses are very similar to each other due to the limited vocal range of Tomi Joutsen and the similar tempo that almost every song utilizes. Also, the guitar melodies that initially seemed to be so strong start to feel redundant and in some cases recycled. This recycling of melodies is no more apparent than on “Sky is Mine” which is almost a direct copy of the faster section on “Under a Soil and Black Stone” from Eclipse. These repetitive elements weigh heavily on the album as a whole and cause the songs to blend together into one giant mid-paced rock song. The underlying riffs that often sound generic and bland, as if they were only an afterthought, only worsen this monotonous experience.

The only thing that saves this album from being a complete disappointment is the strength of the band’s song writing skills. So, while these songs will ultimately be seen as redundant, they’re still enjoyable enough to listen to once in a great while. It just seems that the band can’t pull off the prog rock album that they’ve now tried for twice. Both attempts have seen the band develop a tunnel vision that forces the songs to conform to a very limited set of ideas that ultimately creates a very dull, repetitive album. While this attempt is better than Far From the Sun due to its instantly catchy songs, it’s a weak hook that loses its edge fast. Unfortunately, as enjoyable as this album is initially, within a few weeks of having it there is absolutely no incentive to replay this instead of delving into the band’s back catalog.



Recent reviews by this author
Cannibal Corpse A Skeletal DomainRabbit Junk Pop That Pretty Thirty
Anathema Distant SatellitesFlotsam and Jetsam No Place for Disgrace - 2014
Mindcage Our Own DevicesFates Warning Darkness in a Different Light
user ratings (379)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Kenneth E. Rathburn (3)
A slightly different direction doesn't ruin the album, but Skyforger demonstrates how a band can mis...

Magnus Altkula STAFF (4)
Amorphis take a step into the prog.rock realm with Skyforger and return with interesting results...


Comments:Add a Comment 
rotterdog
May 20th 2009


488 Comments


Well this sounds dissapointing. I had high hopes after Silent Waters.

fireaboveicebelow
May 20th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The main problem is that the choruses are very similar to each other due to the limited vocal range of Pasi Koskinen and the similar tempo that almost every song utilizes.
this is 90% true, except Pasi hasn't been the vocalist for 3 albums hahaha

BallsToTheWall
May 20th 2009


44388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is Pasi's third album I believe.

Good review but I don't think this will be a 2.5 for me.

Digging: Carissa's Wierd - Songs About Leaving

rotterdog
May 20th 2009


488 Comments


Never mindThis Message Edited On 05.20.09

Wizard
May 20th 2009


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The main problem is that the choruses are very similar to each other due to the limited vocal range of Pasi Koskinen and the similar tempo that almost every song utilizes.

I think its because Tomi sounds like he can only sing one note/ follow one rhythm pattern.

Both attempts have seen the band develop a tunnel vision that forces the songs to conform to a very limited set of ideas that ultimately creates a very dull, repetitive album.

I do agree with this but I feel SW falls into this trap alot more.

Other then that, great review Willie. I'm really liking this album despite its flaws. And to anyone who is going to criticize me as a hypocrite, fuck off. I hate individual albums, not bands.

Digging: Khonsu - Traveller

Willie
Moderator
May 20th 2009


15977 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is 90% true, except Pasi hasn't been the vocalist for 3 albums hahaha
Tomi Joutsen is listed as the vocalist for this album on wikipedia.
It's actually funny that you mention that because I double checked on wiki and copied the name from the "former members" section on accident while writing this. Doh!
I think its because Tomi sounds like he can only sing one note/ follow one rhythm pattern.
That's it exactly.
I do agree with this but I feel SW falls into this trap alot more.
I don't know, I still dislike "Far From the Sun" a lot more.

Digging: Necropoli - I

jingledeath
May 20th 2009


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn you and your good reviewing, Willie. I think i'm on my 3rd or 4th listen right now and it hasn't gotten boring yet.

jrowa001
May 20th 2009


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i thought the few songs ive heard from this were ok. Silent Waters is really the only album of theirs that i like. im a fan of mellow prg rock so i might dig this a bit more than a 2.5

Willie
Moderator
May 20th 2009


15977 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a high 2.5 low 3... I wish we had the ability to rate in smaller increments than .5

Wizard
May 20th 2009


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2.894737228323

Tyler
Emeritus
May 20th 2009


7926 Comments


"Within a few weeks of having it..."

As far as I know, this album just leaked, and started streaming today. Have you actually had this album that long, or are you just making a ridiculous statement here that we can all ignore?

Ironic since you already have it rated.

Wizard
May 20th 2009


19409 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sky is Mine rules this album.

Coke, ICP dude? hahaha

BallsToTheWall
May 20th 2009


44388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I almost bought the new ICP out of curiosity today.

HenchmanOfSanta
May 20th 2009


1866 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is purely solid so far. I don't have anything else to compare it to, but it's good. I want to rate it a 3/5 but a 7/10. I hate how 3.5 translates to "Great" when this is really in between good and great.

Good review though.

Mordecai.
May 20th 2009


8279 Comments


Whats Eclipse like? Silent Waters or more like this?


Tyler
Emeritus
May 20th 2009


7926 Comments


It's like Silent Waters but I like it more actually. Less fluff. They're both 3.5s though and I have no interesting in hearing this band continue to release mediocre to slightly above average releases.

fireaboveicebelow
May 20th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

all three are fairly different in atmosphere

BallsToTheWall
May 20th 2009


44388 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

First couple of songs on this were pretty meh so far.

Mordecai.
May 20th 2009


8279 Comments


righto. I'm just thinking about checking out their back catalogue. Is their older stuff good?


Willie
Moderator
May 20th 2009


15977 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Try Elegy.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy