Amorphis, which derives from “amorphous” —deformed, shapeless—, is a Finnish metal band with its own style created by Jan Rechberger and Esa Holopainen in Helsinki in 1990. Initially it was a death metal band and later it marked its own style with two doom metal trend albums (Tales from the Thousand Lakes and Elegy), but over time it evolved to a more progressive and melodic musical style, standing out for the complexity in its arrangements.
History – Formation and early years
From its inception, Amorphis was determined not to follow any musical trends unless it was his own.
In January 1991 they recorded their first demo, Disment of Soul. Despite not satisfying the members of the band themselves, they attracted the attention of the Relapse Records label, with which they quickly signed their first contract. They immediately returned to the studio to record six other songs, of which only two became part of the single Amorphis. The other songs were included two years later on the Privilege of Evil EP.
The Karelian Isthmus and Tales from the Thousand Lakes
Thanks to club performances, the group already numbered a sizable fan base prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Karelian Isthmus, in May 1992 and it was released in 1993. Although it was overshadowed by their later releases. works, already showcased many of the elements that are now hallmarks of the band: majestic doom-style riffs combined with folk-influenced guitars and atmospheric keyboards.
His second album released in 1994, Tales from the Thousand Lakes, was his first big hit. It is based on the Finnish tradition, and many of the lyrics come from the epic poem Kalevala. The most important feature is the addition of Ville Tuomi’s clean, melodic voice. After this album several changes in the formation took place. Kasper left the band and was replaced by Kim Rantala on keyboards, Jan by Pekka Kasari on drums and also joined by a sixth member, Pasi Koskinen on vocals.
Elegy and Tuonela
Amorphis at the 2010 Vagos Open Air Festival (Aveiro-Portugal)
The third album Elegy, from 1996, was presented as an unusual combination of death metal with many more melodic touches and a distinctive oriental touch. The lyrics are again inspired by Finnish mythology and based on the Kanteletar, a collection of ancient traditional poetry. To emphasize the versatility of the band, an acoustic version of the album’s most significant song, “My Kantele,” was also recorded and released as an EP in 1997.
After a successful tour, the group decided it was time to think and get to work on new material. Three years later, in 1999, Tuonela went on sale. The most characteristic element of the album are the guitars with sophisticated delay effects, the decrease of the guttural voices and the few but significant keyboards.
With the arrival of the new millennium, Amorphis celebrated its 10th anniversary with the compilation album Story – 10th Anniversary, which was followed by minor changes in line-up. Following the separation of the Finnish band Kyyria, Santeri Kallio joined full time as a keyboard player. Also, bassist Oppu left the lineup and Niclas Etelävuori joined in his place.
Am Universum and Far From the Sun
A year later, in 2001, the album entitled Am Universum brought more variety to the band’s sound, with the predominance of the saxophone and keyboards instead of Tuonela’s guitars. Folk influences waned slightly in favor of a more experimental and psychedelic approach. His song “Alone” topped the Finnish charts for 3 weeks. Drummer Pekka Kasari left the band for family reasons and Jan Rechberger, one of the original members of Amorphis, took up the role.
After the contract with Relapse Records ended – which was not as beneficial as the band wanted – they recorded their sixth album, Far From the Sun, on their own and released it in 2003 with the Virgin / EMI label exclusively in Europe. Currently a special edition with five bonus songs is available worldwide with Nuclear Blast. This time the sound was more relaxed and direct, again with folk influences and oriental touches. Although the quality of it is not disputed, the final result was not all that was expected due to the lack of motivation of Paski Koskinen, who ended up leaving the band in 2004.
Eclipse and Silent Waters
Although the search for a new leader was not easy, they finally settled on Tomi Joutsen, a versatile singer with great strength and charisma on stage. Tomi, a fan of Amorphis since its inception, brought freshness and a new air to the band.
Eclipse, released in 2006, jumped to the top of the Finnish charts, along with the single “House of Sleep.” Silent Waters, from 2007, gave stability to the band, since it was the first album recorded with the same members as the previous one. Both were also the first to receive the Golden Records awards in Finland. Thanks to the festivals and tours that took place the rest of the year, Amorphis was gaining more fans that consolidated it as an important and well-known band within the genre.
Skyforger, The Beginning of Times and Circle
In 2009, their seventh album, Skyforger, was released, combining the strength of Eclipse, the sentiment of Silent Waters and the creativity of Elegy. Again, this was at the top of the Finnish charts for two weeks. He also received several awards, including Emma for Best Metal Album of 2009, the Finnish equivalent of the Grammy Awards.
In 2010, Amorphis released its first official DVD: Forging The Land Of Thousand Lakes. It contains an hour-long documentary that summarizes the history of the band, as well as two live concerts. That same year they released another special edition, Magic And Mayhem – Tales From The Early Years, a compilation of their first three albums with the songs recorded again.
In 2011, The Beginning of Times was released, an album with many references to its death metal era, while preserving its progressive and experimental spirit, in which the background voice of Netta Dahlberg stands out. It is the first Amorphis album to make it to the top 20 of the German charts.
In April 2013 his new album, Circle, went on sale. Tomi Joutsen said of the new project: “The circle represents integrity. Long ago, when there was something special to talk about, wise men would sit in a circle. Not everyone was invited to join them. But in this story, the protagonist himself was invited to the circle of wise men. ”
And the history goes on….and on….and on……
Did i forgot to include an amazing track from this band?
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