Tuonela (Relapse Records)
By: Chris Paules
On Amorphis' fourth full length outing for Relapse Records they have transcended all boundaries and limits on their music giving us a lush jungle of melodies and creations. They begin the album with the track "The Way". It's swirling folk guitar in the background and a modern heavy metal feel to it make this track a wonderful prelude to what is to come on the album. The albums moderate pace and intricate musicianship lead to several standout tracks, such as the more 70's influenced "Morning Star". With it's wah wah pedals working with the melodic almost hypnotic drums, keyboards flowing in and out of the mix this track keeps the album flowing and on time. "Greed" has a very eastern feel to it, though it brings back the traditional death metal vocals of Amorphis' early days, this track stomps it's way into your head without coming off as derivative and senseless. The album's closer "Summer's End" is a lush collage of sounds and dark overtones. It begins and ends with thick walls of synthesized sounds melding into the song and ending the album almost perfectly. The best Amorphis album yet...A+.
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