It is no secret that Finland’s melodic death metal powerhouse Amorphis is one of my favorite bands, and when a new release comes from them, I get all giddy. With the release of “Circle,” Amorphis’ 11th full-length release, we are treated to the sonic blast that is Amorphis. I have been a huge fan of the band for a long time, but when they switched vocalists midway through 2005 to Tomi Joutsen, they cemented their legacy with me. It is not that I did not like the early Amorphis stuff. Most of the time, I like their classic stuff better, but the vocals were absolutely horrible live. With the addition of Tomi Joutsen, they now had an amazing vocalist on their albums and their live shows both.
I was a fan of their previous release, “The Beginning of Times,” but it felt a little to poppy for my tastes. It had some nice songs, but nothing that was crushing like I expect from them. With “Circle,” they went a little heavier. Even the opening track of the album, Shades of Gray, sets the tone with its brutal opening. The song is still melodic as hell, but it contains the heavy segments and riffs that we all love.
Mission is another standout as a hyper-melodic piece with some great riffs that even border on viking metal, but it is still all Amorphis. Shades of Gray has the melodic feel that we are used to from Amorphis, but also has the heavy segments and riffs that we love. This is one of the better songs that they have done since Silver Bride.
The Wanderer is a track with one of those unforgettable choruses that you have to sing along to. You rarely think of Amorphis as a band to sing along with, but they have a few tracks that you cannot help but sing (I.E. House of Sleep).
Overall, “Circle” is Amorphis back to a little heavier side, but not neglected what is making them a force worldwide. I am still more of a fan of their early work and even the early work with Joutsen, but “Circle” is no slouch as an overall effort. Now, if they could just get some love, I would be a happy man.
Circle Track Listing:
1. Shades of Gray
3. The Wanderer
4. Narrow Path
5. Hopeless Days
6. Nightbird’s Song
7. Into The Abyss
8. Enchanted By The Moon
9. A New Day