Amorphis - _Tuonela_
(Nuclear Blast, 1999)
by: Pedro Azevedo (
It's somewhat interesting, and perhaps in a way even funny, that "Tuonela" is supposed to mean "Hades, the underground", like Amorphis care to explain in the booklet, because _Tuonela_ is again softer, musically and atmospherically, than its predecessor. Needless to say, long gone are the days of _The Karelian Isthmus_ and _Tales From the Thousand Lakes_. The differences relative to their finest album, _Elegy_, may not be as shocking upon first listen as they were when _Elegy_ came out and was compared to _Tales From the Thousand Lakes_, but the overall feel is again lighter than before. (For those who care: there's only one track left that features growls, and it's not Koivusaari who performs them anymore.) Nevertheless, even for myself -- and I generally cannot stand music that sounds anywhere near happy --, _Tuonela_ is still quite an enjoyable album. Why? Mainly because Amorphis are excellent musicians, so practically every song has some remarkably smart melodies that will remain in your head all day long after just a few listens. Unfortunately, only the title track and a few other passages are anywhere near what can be called doom and the atmosphere is generally far from dark -- this doesn't have as many emotional moments as the superb _Elegy_ does, but Amorphis still don't make -happy- music either. It's all quite light, but it just flows very well and the music is very good practically throughout the album, as one would expect from Amorphis. A final note (since EverEve are a Nuclear Blast band and so are Amorphis), and unfortunately a very sad one: EverEve's vocalist Tom Sedotschenko has committed suicide. Sad news indeed.
(article published 5/19/1999)
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