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Am Universum - Amorphis

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Heavy Metal / Artist: Amorphis / Audio CD released 2007-01-08 at Relapse

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      16.01.2008 16:40
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      Amorphis' fifth album (2001).

      If 'Tuonela' was the point of no return for metal-band-turned-prog-rock Amorphis, 'Am Universum' is merely a disappointing continuation of that same style that mainly serves to highlight just how good they used to be when they didn't sound like this. It's not necessarily a problem that Amorphis has ceased to be a metal band, especially as it opens them up to a new audience, but the prog rock direction is a lot less inspiring - particularly as the band's record label and image still seem to be implying something a little more hardcore.

      The music is now dominated by the duet between Pasa Koskinen's singing and Santeri Kallio's keyboards, as everyone else takes a significant back seat. The introduction of Sakari Kukko's saxophone helps the prog atmosphere along, and is quite interesting, but still doesn't make up for the lack of decent guitar riffs or leads from the formerly excellent Tomi Koivusaari and Esa Holopainen duo. Without Koivusaari's backing growls to spur him on, Koskinen is more content to maintain a soft and distinctly dull singing style throughout, which even manages to be pretty annoying even in the best songs like 'Alone,' where his gravelly whine reminds me of that bloke who voiced Leonardo in the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' and Kaneda in 'Akira' (who am I kidding, I know his name's Cam Clarke).

      In fact, 'Alone' is the best song by far, and was the easy choice of single due to its more powerful style and the actual presence of guitars, but it was a mistake to place it so early in the album to raise listeners' expectations of what the following forty minutes are going to sound like. 'Am Universum' isn't a bad album, though it certainly is by Amorphis' high standards, but it's not particularly interesting, and the dominant vocal whine even prevents it from being very successful relaxation music. Of all the bands that started out metal, then deviated into bland atmospheric rock directions, Amorphis are still among the least worst.

      1. Alone
      2. Goddess (Of the Sad Man)
      3. The Night is Over
      4. Shatters Within
      5. Crimson Wave
      6. Drifting Memories
      7. Forever More
      8. Veil of Sin
      9. Captured Stake
      10. Grieve Stricken Heart

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Alone
    2 Goddess (Of The Sad Man)
    3 Night Is Over
    4 Shatters Within
    5 Crimson Wave
    6 Drifting Memories
    7 Forever More
    8 Veil Of Sin
    9 Captured State
    10 Grieve Stricken Heart