Amorphis - Far From The Sun review

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Band: Amorphis
Album: Far From The Sun
Release date: May 2003

01. Day Of Your Beliefs
02. Planetary Misfortune
03. Evil Inside
04. Mourning Soil
05. Far From The Sun
06. Ethereal Solitude
07. Killing Goodness
08. God Of Deception
09. Higher Ground
10. Smithereens
11. Shining Turns To Grey [bonus]
12. Follow Me Into The Fire [bonus]
13. Darkrooms [bonus]
14. Dreams Of The Damned [bonus]
15. Far From The Sun [acoustic version] [bonus]

Now I for one am a big fan of Amorphis' work, as they are one of my favorite bands; albums such as Skyforger (my first Amorphis album), Am Universum, and Elegy have wowed me the first time I listened to them and are among my favorite albums ever made. However, this band was in a bit of an awkward position with the release of Far From The Sun nearly ten years ago, as they appeared not to be on top of their songwriting and performance skills this time around.

The musicianship of the album is not bad, however it seems like a much less inspired and uninterested retread of Am Universum upon listening. The band members sound at times as if they're just going through the motions, waiting for a spark of inspiration, which hardly ever comes except in choice moments. They even go so far as to pull off an Andrew Lloyd Webber in the otherwise good closer "Smithereens" (talk about running out of ideas). Even with this general lack of inspiration amongst the band members, Pasi Koskinen in particular sounds really bored in the recording booth and it feels like he's just staring down at his watch while mumbling any drowsy, passive note that happens to come out of his mouth. This causes certain songs, particularly "Higher Ground", to become largely letdowns for the audience, especially after building them up with a strong and captivating introduction, only to hear a really out-of-key and tired chorus awaiting them.

The production is pretty good, every instrument can be heard just fine, however the heavier moments on this album sound rather fuzzy and cluttered for the most part, causing the listener to feel somewhat bored during the listening experience, due to its underwhelming and passive feel.

The album is not all-around awful however, there are some key highlights which make the album redeemable, most especially the opener "Day Of Your Beliefs", which may be one of the best Amorphis songs written with Pasi behind the mic and by far the song I personally have listened to most from this album. Even with much of the disappointment to follow in later songs, this one in particular serves as a fantastic opener and makes revisiting Far From The Sun not such an unpleasant experience to bear.

Far From The Sun is an apt metaphor for the album, as it shows the Finnish melodic metal veterans the furthest from the glory days of albums as Tales From The Thousand Lakes and Elegy that they have ever been thus far. Though it is no St. Anger (which happened to be released the same year as this album), it is by far the worst album of Amorphis' standards. A revitalization, or orbit closer to the light of the sun ,was definitely needed for the band to continue onwards in a more positive light for the fans; which has since been proven true with the arrival of vocalist Tomi Joutsen into the band (Eclipse had the most perfect artwork to herald this occasion).

All in all, Far From The Sun is an average release with a few noteworthy highlights.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 7

Written by CobiWan1993 | 01.01.2013


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
When this ever-changing ex-Death Metal outfit from the land of the thousand lakes released works like Tuonela and Am Universum some fans were disappointed, some others angry, and many just turned their backs on these guys. Well, in some degree I understand why the fans were disappointed, if you go from Death Metal to Hard Rock you're bound to lose some fans, but many failed to see that Amorphis may not be a Death Metal band, but it still manages to sound fresh and surprise many people when they release a new album.

published 11.09.2003 | Comments (10)


Comments: 1   Visited by: 70 users
05.01.2013 - 04:09
Yeah I thought the same. I heard Elegy and wanted to listen to more Amorphis so I listened to this next. Mediocrity at its finest. Good thing I didn't stop listening to them after hearing this

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