Amorphis - Under the Red Cloud
Amorphis have been on a roll lately, churning out album after album of glorious, soulful metal since discovering the perfect blend of aggressive, growly prog and poppy, sunny rock with 2006’s Eclipse. As a diehard fan of theirs, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but I can understand how detractors might think the band’s gotten a little repetitive.
That said, with the release of Under the Red Cloud, something interesting seems to be happening. The hardcores are singing the album’s praises, as is to be expected, but even some of the unconverted are speaking up. There’s a genuine buzz in the air over just how good a record Amorphis have put out here.
There are a few areas, I think, where Under the Red Cloud is far ahead of its predecessors. For one, it’s their best-sounding album in a while; new producer Jens Bogren has done a great job making every song feel massive. After completing my third or fourth listen of the record, I decided to go back and play a few songs off Circle, and my-oh-my was the difference apparent.
While Under the Red Cloud’s overall style isn’t drastically different from what we’ve come to expect, there are a few twists and turns sprinkled throughout that add much-appreciated freshness. “The Skull” sounds like something removed from a Mastodon record, and “Bad Blood” is insanely groovy. In my opinion, it’s the most catchy, singable song of its name I’ve heard all year, although most of the population would probably disagree.
In the end though, while these things are all nice and dandy, the main reason Under the Red Cloud is so great is because its songs are simply jaw dropping. There are so many moments where I can’t help but smile; when the final chorus kicks in with a new set of lyrics toward the end of the title track, or that cheeky flute starts playing under the verses of “Death of a King”, or Tomi Joutsen comes flying in over the folky riffs of “Tree of Ages”. Everything is so melodic and memorable, a combination that Amorphis have mastered over the years, perhaps never more so than now.Rating:
9.5/10Buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Under-Red-Cloud-AMORPHIS/dp/B010CAFCPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1441848825&sr=8-1&keywords=under+the+red+cloud