Rating:
8.0
Amorphis - The Beginning Of Times
25 May 2011


01. Battle For Light
02. Mermaid
03. My Enemy
04. You I Need
05. Song Of The Sage
06. Three Words
07. Reformation
08. Soothsayer
09. On A Stranded Shore
10. Escape
11. Crack In A Stone
12. Beginning Of Time
13. Heart's Song [digipack bonus]


Amorphis have to be one of best and at the same time most loved bands from Finland. Actually, the only time they let me down was with Far From The Sun, the last album with Pasi Koskinen behind the microphone. The future of the band in the eyes of their fans was quite uncertain, but Tomy Joutsen came in like an earthquake and blended in a unique way with the rest of the band. Eclipse and Silent Waters prove it. Skyforger was good, just good. A bit more appealing to the common listener, hence the band left behind the grunting vocals to a big extent.

Two years later, Amorphis return with The Beginning Of Times and dare I say it's the more inspired and powerful little nephew of Skyforger, or to be more precise, it's the blending of Eclipse and Silent Waters' melodic and dynamic at the same time vibe with the more appealing essence of Skyforger. Nowadays, as i look back into it, their previous work was like a "necessary" step back for the band which actually helped them move two steps forward.

Beautiful leads and solos appear every now and then expanding the already atmosphere-evoking role of the keyboards while the static heavy riffing sets the foundation in perfect harmony with the rhythm section. Psychedelic melodies and the traditional elements Amorphis always embedded in their sound pace wonderfully together in the overly atmospheric/melodic tone of the compositions. Joutsen proves once again with utter simplicity what a great and charismatic interpreter he is, ranging from heart-felt singing to more dynamic forms of melody to finally reach a climax of grunting orgasm.

In the end, The Beginning Of Times seems to possess their fourth great cover in a row whereas at the same time, despite being very good, superior to its predecessor and more inspired in one hand, on the other hand it's nothing really new and I'd really like to see them experiment a bit (once again) in the sound they forged since Joutsen's arrival. Still, they have my admiration for remaining a decent band in a cruel music world we all live in, but I think the time has come for something more (once again), some progress (drastic or not).

Highlights: My Enemy, Battle For Light, Soothsayer, Song Of The Sage, Beginning Of Time.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Amorphis
Album: The Beginning Of Times


 



Written on 15.06.2011 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
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Milena - 15.06.2011 at 19:35  
I don't get why everyone sees Skyforger as a weaker album. It's the most wonderfully melodic piece of heaven.
As for the new album, it's quite awesome, hints at old Amorphis, and is generally the finest vocal work Joutsen has provided us with. However, if they continue with this exact style further on, it may be too much.
Risto - 15.06.2011 at 19:36  
Now that they have a proper deal with Nuclear Blast they are actually making a living out of musicianship. In this light it's not surprising that they aren't changing their sound that much anymore, yet they're more inspired than ever before and have the ability to progress on a more subtle level. The weakness of this review is that it meanders a bit too much in what we already know and disregards what's new to the table.
DerRozzengarten - 15.06.2011 at 19:40  
Written by Risto on 15.06.2011 at 19:36

Now that they have a proper deal with Nuclear Blast they are actually making a living out of musicianship. In this light it's not surprising that they aren't changing their sound that much anymore but yet they're more inspired than ever before and have the ability to progress on a more subtle level. The weakness of this review is that it disregards the experimentation on this album, such as female vocals.

They are but very few and female vocals aren't always an experimentation, such vocals have been in many bands so it's not really something new. I had in mind to put a hint somewhere concerning the female vocals, but i skipped it. They might use them more in the future, maybe not, but it will be more of a common addition to their sound rather than something experimenting.
DerRozzengarten - 15.06.2011 at 19:44  
Written by Milena on 15.06.2011 at 19:35

I don't get why everyone sees Skyforger as a weaker album. It's the most wonderfully melodic piece of heaven.
As for the new album, it's quite awesome, hints at old Amorphis, and is generally the finest vocal work Joutsen has provided us with. However, if they continue with this exact style further on, it may be too much.

I still consider Skyforger a good album, it has some awesome songs, but it doesn't surpass the the other albums they've done so far with Joutsen, at least in my eyes. Yeah, it may be too much, unless their inspiration engines bring out some awesome tunes from the first to the last song
Risto - 15.06.2011 at 19:48  
Written by DerRozzengarten on 15.06.2011 at 19:40

They are but very few and female vocals aren't always an experimentation, such vocals have been in many bands so it's not really something new. I had in mind to put a hint somewhere concerning the female vocals, but i skipped it. They might use them more in the future, maybe not, but it will be more of a common addition to their sound rather than something experimenting.

I hate it when I get quoted BEFORE I get to edit the message
DerRozzengarten - 15.06.2011 at 19:50  
Written by Risto on 15.06.2011 at 19:48

Written by DerRozzengarten on 15.06.2011 at 19:40

They are but very few and female vocals aren't always an experimentation, such vocals have been in many bands so it's not really something new. I had in mind to put a hint somewhere concerning the female vocals, but i skipped it. They might use them more in the future, maybe not, but it will be more of a common addition to their sound rather than something experimenting.

I hate it when I get quoted BEFORE I get to edit the message

It happens even to the best
bluegreengod - 15.06.2011 at 19:57  
It's odd that nobody seems to like Far From the Sun. I'd had Elegy, thousand lakes and tuonela for a while, but FFtS was the one that really got me into this band. I think Skyforger is the best album they've done with Joutsen, but this new one is really fucking good too.
Ag Fox - 15.06.2011 at 20:04  
Written by Milena on 15.06.2011 at 19:35

I don't get why everyone sees Skyforger as a weaker album. It's the most wonderfully melodic piece of heaven.
As for the new album, it's quite awesome, hints at old Amorphis, and is generally the finest vocal work Joutsen has provided us with. However, if they continue with this exact style further on, it may be too much.
I can't agree with you more
Milena - 15.06.2011 at 20:15  
Written by Ag Fox on 15.06.2011 at 20:04

Written by Milena on 15.06.2011 at 19:35

I don't get why everyone sees Skyforger as a weaker album. It's the most wonderfully melodic piece of heaven.
As for the new album, it's quite awesome, hints at old Amorphis, and is generally the finest vocal work Joutsen has provided us with. However, if they continue with this exact style further on, it may be too much.
I can't agree with you more

I'm used to almost no one agreeing with me, so it's a nice change *nods head*
Array - 15.06.2011 at 22:03  
I think this album takes the best things from Eclipse, Silent Waters & Skyforger (which were more or less quite similar) and blends those with more detailed/rich melodies, sections and riffs, which reminds me of the days of Tales From The Thousand Lakes & Elegy. It's nice to see old and new living so well within the same album, in harmony.
Angel_Lament - 15.06.2011 at 23:31  
Written by Milena on 15.06.2011 at 19:35

I don't get why everyone sees Skyforger as a weaker album. It's the most wonderfully melodic piece of heaven.
As for the new album, it's quite awesome, hints at old Amorphis, and is generally the finest vocal work Joutsen has provided us with. However, if they continue with this exact style further on, it may be too much.


I really agree, Skyforger was a very awesome album, and my fav for amorphis...the new album is very good too, a little similar to skyforger! maybe they need to do more grunts...but still The begining of Times marks a great point in Amorphis history!
a very well written review btw...!!
Troy Killjoy - 16.06.2011 at 04:08  
Written by Array on 15.06.2011 at 22:03

I think this album takes the best things from Eclipse, Silent Waters & Skyforger (which were more or less quite similar) and blends those with more detailed/rich melodies, sections and riffs, which reminds me of the days of Tales From The Thousand Lakes & Elegy. It's nice to see old and new living so well within the same album, in harmony.

Agreed. I had to evaluate why I enjoyed this album as much as I did, as it first seemed to be a practical continuation of Skyforger, an album I more or less despise.

Your comment reminded me of my "revelation", so to speak, in that I found Skyforger just a simply heavy metal album with some traditional Amorphis atmosphere thrown in, whereas this seems to be a collection of their growth put on display. This album really does a good job of uniting past and present.
Milena - 16.06.2011 at 08:34  
Written by Array on 15.06.2011 at 22:03

I think this album takes the best things from Eclipse, Silent Waters & Skyforger (which were more or less quite similar) and blends those with more detailed/rich melodies, sections and riffs, which reminds me of the days of Tales From The Thousand Lakes & Elegy. It's nice to see old and new living so well within the same album, in harmony.

+1. Oh, how I loved, loved, loved the transitions in the opener track.:love:
Merchant of Doom - 17.06.2011 at 15:29  
I like Joutsen's voice... especially the grunting, because the clean vocals remind of a mix between New Model Army's Justin Sullivan and Inspiral Carpets' Tom Hingley...

Musically, I find it a bit too long and repetitive, but it's a good CD for the car...
enumaelis - 17.06.2011 at 17:09  
Their weakest with Joutsen.
nb - 17.06.2011 at 18:18  
Written by Ag Fox on 15.06.2011 at 20:04

Written by Milena on 15.06.2011 at 19:35

I don't get why everyone sees Skyforger as a weaker album. It's the most wonderfully melodic piece of heaven.
As for the new album, it's quite awesome, hints at old Amorphis, and is generally the finest vocal work Joutsen has provided us with. However, if they continue with this exact style further on, it may be too much.
I can't agree with you more

I second that. Skyforger is just plain awesome. The new one sounds also really good, but I have only heard it one time. There is not enough time on a day
to listen to music.....
SymphAlchemist - 19.06.2011 at 07:17  
I believed it would overcome Skyforger, but it didn't!! And I completely agree with NB, if they continue with this style, it will get boring. But after all it is a listenable album, I can enjoy the songs. Three Words and Mermaid were the ones I liked most. Oh, and You I Need as well, but it is a single and singles are all crap... kidding xD

It seems to me that Battle for Light tells the same story of On Rich and Poor... Does anyone know if this is true?
Risto - 19.06.2011 at 12:35  
Written by SymphAlchemist on 19.06.2011 at 07:17

It seems to me that Battle for Light tells the same story of On Rich and Poor... Does anyone know if this is true?

Yes, though On Rich and Poor is from a different book partly circulating on similar themes. Moon and Sun on the Black Winter Day EP is about exactly the same thing.
SymphAlchemist - 20.06.2011 at 02:48  
Written by Risto on 19.06.2011 at 12:35

Written by SymphAlchemist on 19.06.2011 at 07:17

It seems to me that Battle for Light tells the same story of On Rich and Poor... Does anyone know if this is true?

Yes, though On Rich and Poor is from a different book partly circulating on similar themes. Moon and Sun on the Black Winter Day EP is about exactly the same thing.


I didn't know this. Wish I knew some Finnish mythology, it seems to be nice.
WorpeX - 25.06.2011 at 03:01  
Written by Risto on 19.06.2011 at 12:35

Written by SymphAlchemist on 19.06.2011 at 07:17

It seems to me that Battle for Light tells the same story of On Rich and Poor... Does anyone know if this is true?

Yes, though On Rich and Poor is from a different book partly circulating on similar themes. Moon and Sun on the Black Winter Day EP is about exactly the same thing.


It's ok though, cause Amorphis doesn't write their own lyrics anyway. O_o

I'm enjoying the album though! I really like 'On a Stranded Shore' the female vocals accent Tomi's voice well.
SymphAlchemist - 27.06.2011 at 18:48  
Written by WorpeX on 25.06.2011 at 03:01

It's ok though, cause Amorphis doesn't write their own lyrics anyway. O_o


Well... they do write... They just pick up ready themes and work on them.
WorpeX - 27.06.2011 at 19:03  
Written by SymphAlchemist on 27.06.2011 at 18:48

Written by WorpeX on 25.06.2011 at 03:01

It's ok though, cause Amorphis doesn't write their own lyrics anyway. O_o


Well... they do write... They just pick up ready themes and work on them.


Nah, the last album i've seen that Amorphis actually wrote lyrics on is Eclipse. It states right in the album's booklet who wrote them. For this one and Skyforger, they were written by Pekka Kainulainen and then translated by Erkki Virta. Whomever they might be. Don't have Silent Waters on hand at the moment, but if I remember correctly, it was similar. Of course, Amorphis does write all the music though.

If that means better song, i'm perfectly fine with it. The two songs that an Amorphis member specifically wrote lyrics to on Eclipse were two of the weakest in my opinion (Under a Black Soil and Stone and Brother Moon).
SymphAlchemist - 27.06.2011 at 19:17  
Written by WorpeX on 27.06.2011 at 19:03


Nah, the last album i've seen that Amorphis actually wrote lyrics on is Eclipse. It states right in the album's booklet who wrote them. For this one and Skyforger, they were written by Pekka Kainulainen and then translated by Erkki Virta. Whomever they might be. Don't have Silent Waters on hand at the moment, but if I remember correctly, it was similar. Of course, Amorphis does write all the music though.

If that means better song, i'm perfectly fine with it. The two songs that an Amorphis member specifically wrote lyrics to on Eclipse were two of the weakest in my opinion (Under a Black Soil and Stone and Brother Moon).


=o

Honestly, I thought it was Esa who wrote most, if not all the lyrics. He's just gone down in my estimation
Doc Godin - 28.06.2011 at 03:24  
Quote:
Two years later, Amorphis return with The Beginning Of Times and dare I say it's the more inspired and powerful little nephew of Skyforger

I think you mean aimless & meandering little nephew of Skyforger.

It had some cool parts, in fact, it had some extremely cool parts. However, it fails to reach any sort of climax or height at any point in the songs or overall album. Skyforger had each song building up into something epic & awesome. This just seems like a handful of neat parts strung together with no real goal or purpose.

With Skyforger, each song you could take a step back, look at it and say "wow, what an intelligently designed song." With The Beginning Of Times it's like "Wow! That was a really cool part! Too bad they didn't make the entire song that good..."
Risto - 28.06.2011 at 11:29  
Written by Doc Godin on 28.06.2011 at 03:24

I think you mean aimless & meandering little nephew of Skyforger.

It had some cool parts, in fact, it had some extremely cool parts. However, it fails to reach any sort of climax or height at any point in the songs or overall album. Skyforger had each song building up into something epic & awesome. This just seems like a handful of neat parts strung together with no real goal or purpose.

With Skyforger, each song you could take a step back, look at it and say "wow, what an intelligently designed song." With The Beginning Of Times it's like "Wow! That was a really cool part! Too bad they didn't make the entire song that good..."

Funny you say that because the songs aren't structurally any more complicated than on Skyforger. For example Sampo has more distinguishable parts than Song of the Sage. Skyforger is an endless stream of hits with guitar leading the way. With this one they take a different view on their sound.

Patience, my friend. You're far from being the only one thinking like that initially.
Doc Godin - 28.06.2011 at 12:15  
Written by Risto on 28.06.2011 at 11:29

Funny you say that because the songs aren't structurally any more complicated than on Skyforger. For example Sampo has more distinguishable parts than Song of the Sage. Skyforger is an endless stream of hits with guitar leading the way. With this one they take a different view on their sound.

Patience, my friend. You're far from being the only one thinking like that initially.

Complicated? I never said anything like that. I said intelligently structured, which is not the same thing. It's got nothing to do with intricacy, but rather how the songs build up, and fail to do so here. Like I said, some cool parts, but the whole thing just sounds flat on an overall structure level.

As for patience...Gave it a lot of time, more than I give most albums actually, considering how bad I wanted to hear something as good as Skyforger...I just don't hear it.
Risto - 28.06.2011 at 12:50  
Written by Doc Godin on 28.06.2011 at 12:15

As for patience...Gave it a lot of time, more than I give most albums actually, considering how bad I wanted to here something as good as Skyforger...I just don't hear it.

Fair enough then
R'Vannith - 30.06.2011 at 17:49  
Written by Doc Godin on 28.06.2011 at 03:24

Quote:
Two years later, Amorphis return with The Beginning Of Times and dare I say it's the more inspired and powerful little nephew of Skyforger

I think you mean aimless & meandering little nephew of Skyforger.

It had some cool parts, in fact, it had some extremely cool parts. However, it fails to reach any sort of climax or height at any point in the songs or overall album. Skyforger had each song building up into something epic & awesome. This just seems like a handful of neat parts strung together with no real goal or purpose.

With Skyforger, each song you could take a step back, look at it and say "wow, what an intelligently designed song." With The Beginning Of Times it's like "Wow! That was a really cool part! Too bad they didn't make the entire song that good..."


That's exactly how I felt about the album, as a whole its disjointed with no real flow. However I went into this album expecting a collection of good songs, and that's definitely what I got. It may lack that certain build up but as a whole I find it better than Skyforger, the quality of each particular song is excellent imo. If you expect something with that climax of atmosphere you may be disappointed with the album, for me though sometimes a bit of 'meandering' isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Dark Blood - 08.07.2011 at 07:00  
I'm enjoying this album a lot. Actually that's how it's been with the last 4 Amorphis albums to me, no exceptions. I'm really pleased with this side of the band and each time I hear this I get carried away with such perfection and balance (between the musical elements and Joutsen's voice).
This album definitely deserves the attention its getting. Very good review.

EDIT:
Just a small observation about the cover... did you notice the drawing carved in the egg? Haha, nice touch
DerRozzengarten - 08.07.2011 at 12:33  
Written by Dark Blood on 08.07.2011 at 07:00

I'm enjoying this album a lot. Actually that's how it's been with the last 4 Amorphis albums to me, no exceptions. I'm really pleased with this side of the band and each time I hear this I get carried away with such perfection and balance (between the musical elements and Joutsen's voice).
This album definitely deserves the attention its getting. Very good review.

EDIT:
Just a small observation about the cover... did you notice the drawing carved in the egg? Haha, nice touch

Yo, holy hell, it's the hammer! Hadn't noticed, thanks! And for the comment as well
Dentura - 06.06.2012 at 10:21  
Tbh, I think this is the weakest album of the Tomi Joutsen era. This album just hasn't clicked for me the same way the three previous albums have (and I have listened to this album many times already, so don't ask). The musicians do a great job as always, Tomi's vocals are amazing as usual, but the songs themselves just don't reach the same mark that make the songs from Eclipse, Silent Waters, and Skyforger such magical experiences. There are some very good songs such as the title track, Song of the Sage, and Three Words, but still, they don't hold a candle to classics like The Smoke, I of Crimson Blood, and Sampo (the first song I listened to from them). Good album overall, but I hope the next album blows this one out of the water like the other albums they have done with Tomi Joutsen behind the mic. 8/10

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