|Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 18 May 2018
Format: LP Double Vinyl
|Amorphis Queen Of Time Limited Gatefold Vinyl 2LP Set
It's been 24 years since AMORPHIS changed the metal world forever with their second album ‘Tales From The Thousand Lakes’; an epic piece of work that paved the way for one of the most successful Finnish music careers of all time. On twelve albums so far, AMORPHIS has brought us closer to the Finnish national epic, the "Kalevala", toured the world several times, received countless gold records and managed to achieve success after success with their unmistakable mix of metal, folklore and rock.
With their fateful thirteenth studio album ‘Queen Of Time’, the band provides a ground-breaking epic about the rise and fall of civilization. Attentive listeners may have expected a further rise in the level of heaviness after the release of their last record (culminating in 2015 in the phenomenal and acclaimed ‘Under The Red Cloud’), but AMORPHIS has changed the game once more. One thing is already certain: AMORPHIS has never before told their stories of the thousand lakes as complex, as enthralling, as inventive and monumental as on ‘Queen Of Time’.
Shortly after recording their last album ‘Under The Red Cloud’, the Finns realized one thing: they would also record their next album with Jens Bogren, a true brother in spirit. "We knew that if we continue to work with him, we can excel ourselves.” And they did. Together with perfectionist Bogren at Fascination Street Studios, who is at least by now the legitimate seventh AMORPHIS member, the band managed to create an album (just in three months) that surpasses all expectations. Guesting on the album is the likes of Chrigel Glanzmann (ELUVEITIE) on pipes, laryngeal singer Albert Kuvezin and saxophonist Jørgen Munkeby, plus an orchestra and a choir (a novelty for a band now in their 30th year)! These elements deliver a dramatic and cinematic depth to the sound, making everything even more epic, even deeper, and even more meaningful than ever before.
A good example for this is the first single, triumphant opener ‘The Bee‘: It begins with sonorous laryngeal singing, a siren-like female voice and strikingly shimmering synths, before getting started in the typical AMORPHIS manner. Melodies from another sphere, raw harshness, grandeur, elaborate orchestration and melancholy, flow seamlessly into each other as if these different worlds always belonged to one another. As a symbol of this sublime game of light and shadow, everything is enthroned by Tomi Joutsen’s voice. Sometimes grumbling, sometimes full of mournful fervor, sometimes crystal clear above everything - he is, now more than ever, a skald, a prophet, a storyteller.
And that is just the beginning. The entire album is a ride at full speed through archetypally Finnish metal witchcraft; a dark, mysterious, melancholic evening around the campfire. The fabulous melodies in the fast-paced ‘Message In The Amber‘ are as Nordic as they can be, in ‘Daughter Of Hate‘ aggression and black metal screams unite with oriental melodies and dark choirs. And then, of course, there's the overarching ‘Amongst Stars‘, another anthem with the fabulous Anneke van Giersbergen contributing a guest appearance.
‘Queen Of Time’ is rounded off by the return of the original bassist Olli-Pekka Laine, following the departure of Niclas Etelävuori after 17 years . “When we started to play our first shows together again last summer it all felt so familiar” says guitarist Esa Holopainen. "The songs of the new album will also set new standards at our live shows," says Holopainen. And anyone who has heard ‘Queen Of Time’ even once will know what he means by that. A new era has begun, a new ‘Tales From The Thousand Lakes’ is born.
Disc 1 Side A:
1. The Bee
2. Message In The Amber
3. Daughter Of Hate
1. The Golden Elk
2. Wrong Direction
3. Heart Of The Giant
Disc 2 Side C:
1. We Accursed
2. Grain Of Sand
3. Amongst Stars
1. Pyres On The Coast
2. As Mountains Crumble (bonus track)
3. Brother And Sister (bonus track)