Amorphis – “Circle”

Amorphis – “Circle” (Nuclear Blast)

Formed over 20 years ago, these eclectic Finns built a sound that didn’t just revolve around traditional death and doom metal but also folk, progressive and psychedelia. Sometimes I’ve found albums like ‘Am Universum’ too prog and the material unduly complex, but no such worries on this superb 11th album! Even the themes are more straightforward, with no stories about the Kalevala, and instead focusing on inner power and getting strength from your roots. Given this, there is an incredible amount of energy and melody on songs like ‘Mission’, ‘Hopeless Days’ and the incredible ‘A New Day’. Tomi Joutsen’s vocals really put the emotion in, and when the keyboard atmospherics kick in, you are just sailing away on a high. With the guitars more up front in the mix, “Circle” is also physically a louder album thanks to Peter Tagtgren’s legendary production, which is no bad thing as they heap even more melodies in both their riffs and amazing soloing that is superbly uplifting to the max! Mebbe Amorphis are still complex, but now it’s layered and all going in one direction which I can both handle and like!

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