Finland’s Amorphis is back with Under the Red Cloud and you know that excites me. When it comes to melodic death metal, there is no band that matches the intensity that Amorphis brings. Following the band throughout their early years all the way through today shows how dynamic of a band Amorphis truly is.
While 1994’s Tales From the Thousand Lakes remains one of the most classic metal albums of all time, each new release still proves that Amorphis remains relevant after all of these years. Years ago, the band struggled with sub-par vocal performances in a live setting, but with a consistent line-up for the last ten years, the band has found its happy place. Dynamic vocalist Tomi Joutsen remains one of the best voices in the genre and should be commended for being a huge part of the band’s success.
Under the Red Cloud marks the band’s 12 studio album and follow up to 2013’s impressive Circle. The band brings their unique sound to the new album and throws in a few new wrinkles to keep the old die-hard fans coming back for more. Under the Red Cloud is simply song after song of intense metal in the fashion that only Amophis can bring.
The album’s title track gets us familiar with the band’s signature sound, which we have come to admire. Songs like “Death of a King” prove what a special band Amorphis really is. This is a sound that is unique to the masters and no one could possibly duplicate the intricacies of this track. It has the standard Amorphis melodies and guitar lines that they have honed over the years.
“Bad Blood” and “The Four Wise Ones” are simply wicked songs where Tomi gets to show his vocal range.
Guest appearances add another dimension to the songs. Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie) plays flute magic on a couple of tracks while Martin Lopez (Soen, ex-Opeth) plays percussion on “Death of a King” and Aleah Stanbridge (Trees of Eternity) offers up her haunting female vocals.
Overall, Amorphis is back and rarely ever makes a misstep, so Under the Red Cloud is as solid as fan would expect from the one and only Amorphis.
Amorphis: Under the Red Cloud Tracklisting
01. Under the Red Cloud
02. The Four Wise Ones
03. Bad Blood
04. The Skull
05. Death of a King
07. Dark Path
08. Enemy at the Gates
09. Tree of Ages
10. White Night
11. Come the Spring [Digipak & 2LP bonus]
12. Winter’s Sleep [Digipak & 2LP bonus]
13. The Wind [Japanese bonus]