Amorphis
Under the Red Cloud


4.0
excellent

Review

by ExplosiveOranges CONTRIBUTOR (72 Reviews)
September 7th, 2015 | 387 replies


Release Date: 09/04/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Growing strong.

To say that the past decade has been kind to Amorphis would be an understatement. From the elegance of Silent Waters to the pomp of Circle, the Finnish prog metallers have carved a solid foothold for themselves over the course of eight years. So, of course, when a new album is released, the inevitable question of whether or not the flavor has gone bland comes up. Sure enough, Under the Red Cloud proves to be another worthy addition to Amorphis’s discography, as well as one of the best progressive metal releases this year so far.

Vocally speaking, Tomi Joutsen steps forth with his typical combination of smooth, sonorous clean singing and raucous, gravelly grunts contrasting with one another. However, he also brings forth some variation on “The Four Wise Ones” and “Dark Path”, where he utilizes higher-pitched harsh vocals, creating a sense of rigidness and vigor. Esa Holopainen’s guitarwork is on par as always, melding together traditional melodic leads with a hint of folk alongside a mesh of scrupulous soloing. This is especially prevalent on tracks such as “Tree of Ages” and “Death of a King”, the latter of which features wind instruments and a heavy prog vibe. “White Night” features a very strong keyboard presence, along with a female guest vocalist, both of which aid in keeping the music engaging and disparate. “Come The Spring” is another noteworthy song, mainly due to the sheer amount of zeal behind it, harkening all the back to Skyforger. The entire album is roughly an hour in length, which is long enough to make things interesting without getting too bogged down in fluff. Jens Bogren’s production job fits in quite well, smoothly meshing together the various instruments while making sure Joutsen’s vocals are most dominant in the mix. Drummer Jan Rechberger and bassist Niclas Etelavuori serve as the supporting crew, and maintain a strong backbone for the rest of the band throughout the album. As a whole, the album gives off a very willful, gracious feeling, fluctuating between tranquility and chaos in a very refined manner. There’s a sense of pride and clarity flowing through, but simultaneously a pensive, composed energy beneath it.

All that being said, the one major gripe some will have with Under the Red Cloud is the fairly formulaic structure of the music as a whole. Chances are that if you’re even remotely acquainted with Amorphis’s past few albums, you’ll have a good idea of where each song is going right from the beginning. In spite of this, though, there’s never a particular moment where the music turns stale, and the linear construction of the music isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

At the end of the day, Under the Red Cloud stands tall as its own album. Everything fits snugly together, and there’s a real sense of confidence exuding from each band member in their respective craft. Amorphis have risen yet again to the challenge, and show no signs of backing down soon. If this is the standard that the band holds itself to right now, it’s astonishing to ponder where they’ll be going in the future.



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user ratings (363)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Xenorazr CONTRIBUTOR (4)
Finding harmony between the new and the old....



Comments:Add a Comment 
ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2015


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

big thanks to cometodaddy for helping me make this not dogshit. album currently streaming on spotify. as always, criticism is welcome.



Hawks
September 6th 2015


51947 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sweet review bro, album slays hard.

Digging: Swallow the Sun - The Morning Never Came

Marinatchae
September 6th 2015


112 Comments


Nice Game of Thrones reference from one of my favourite houses!

emester
September 6th 2015


8181 Comments


Naranjas has returned.

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2015


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks hawks



i wish they put garlan in the show, he's a badass

Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2015


15216 Comments


the volatile mandarin of HEUGH has returned to us vile philistines

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2015


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"indeed"



-omar

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2015


24412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

havent heard anything by these guys except silent waters which was great. should probably check this out

nice review EO

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2015


4408 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks



nice dig btw

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2015


24412 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

\m/

bloc
September 7th 2015


44302 Comments


Tried these guys out a while back but couldn't get into em. Gonna give them another go

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
September 7th 2015


8452 Comments


damn sorry, was gonna edit but then i fell asleep and now i'm at uni and well

yeah :-(

will give it a squiz when i'm not busy in a min

Digging: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Polygondwanaland

ScuroFantasma
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2015


10877 Comments


Great review man, nice to have you back (:

Digging: Russkaja - Energia!

zmol
September 7th 2015


39 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Never heard of these guys before and I'm on my first listen through of this album and it's so good.

ComeToDaddy
September 7th 2015


1611 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah nice one m/

Flugmorph
September 7th 2015


17450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is great.

Digging: Converge - The Dusk in Us

kaparoni
September 7th 2015


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Very nice album .Don't have a solid opinion just yet , but I must agree with the reviiewer regarding Tomi . I think his growls were improved comparing to past releases (Or he choose not to show it previously...) . Nothing new regarding the cleans . Great as always . Keyboards are amazing .

kaparoni
September 7th 2015


304 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

"Tried these guys out a while back but couldn't get into em. Gonna give them another go"



You should ! . I had in the same position as you . Heard them a few years back and didn't like them . After I have listened to the first single from the new album , I have tried all the previous albums with Tomi , and like them a lot .

Flugmorph
September 7th 2015


17450 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah tomi was a godsent for them

Valkyrion
September 7th 2015


1161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'd hardly call this "progressive" in any way (it's just straight heavy metal imo) but good review nonethless. agree that the music can get quite formulaic in a poppy way (repetition of choruses) but it's still an enjoyable listen



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