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F U L L . R E V I E W S

The Beginning Of Times

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2011
Genre: Progressive, heavy
Reviewer: EC

  • One of the better releases from the group

  • Finland's faithful return for album number ten (seems like there would have been more). I have been somewhat disappointed with the band since the masterful '06 title "Eclipse". Not like "Silent Waters" and "Skyforger" were terrible but just too convoluted and self indulgent. Sales are up, landing "Skyforger" gold recently in Finland, a sure sign that Amorphis will continue the marriage with Nuclear Blast.

    "The Beginning Of Times" was recorded by the band and vocals were recorded by Marco Hietala (Nightwish) in studio Kuopio. Mikko Karmila once again mixed the record and the end result is a return to triumphant form. This offering showcases Amorphis in a more polished state. I felt the last two offerings were a bit muddy and plodding while this new venture is much more calculated and has a mindset on pure melody and audio visuals. As always the lyrics are deeply rooted in Finnish mythology and centrally themed around Väinämöinen, a native hero.

    The band has obviously gone back to some of their early melo-death roots, this one covered from head to toe in death growls that recall "The Karelian Isthmus" and "Tales From The Thousand Lakes". That enormous sweeping melody is ever present and backed by constant keyboards. I really think the band must have liked their recent venture into the early back catalog on the recent re-recording of old classics. That early vibe stays with the act through this entire recording and provides a much needed energy and...dare I say...aggression. From soul stirring tales set to keys to that frosty winter night writing this goes beyond the normal bass-guitar-drums that so many bands become complacent with. This is something expertise, planning and a well balanced band can pull off and "The Beginning Of Times" is another exhibit for Amorphis on the perfection of song. This is one of the better releases from the group and mirrors the fascination I had with "Eclipse" and "Elegies". Hats off to these Fins for constantly evolving and never losing track of what makes them who they are.

    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Amorphis:
    Eric Compton3/25/2013
    Eric Compton3/21/2006
    Far From The SunAmorphis
    Ken Pierce7/25/2005
    Silent WatersAmorphis
    Raising Iron7/17/2009
    The Beginning Of TimesAmorphis
    Eric Compton6/3/2011

    All interviews for Amorphis:

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