“Queen Of Time”

By Dr. Abner Mality

If you’re one of those folks still waiting for Amorphis to turn dark and gruesome again, you can keep waiting. It’s been pretty obvious for a while now that the Finns are just as much progressive rock  as metal and “Queen of Time” continues in that tradition. I would go out on a limb and say that this is the most cinematic Amorphis album yet. It sounds like they spent a million dollars on it.

This is a band to listen to not for heaviness or just riffs, but for overall songcraft. The best songs here are composed of so many interlocking parts it’s breath-taking. “The Golden Elk” is the prime example of this…heavy riffs, folk influences, huge cinematic keyboards and the amazing dichotomy of Tomi Joutsen’s harsh and clean vocals all converge to make this soundtrack-level heavy metal. 

It is true that there are times when the production seems too bright and clean. “Among Stars” with its female vocals and corny Celtic-type melodies is just too sappy and sounds more like something a band like Nightwish or Delain should be doing. But “Grain of Sand” more than makes up for this with a spectacular opening and a compelling prog-metal sound. Even with bombastic choirs and immense production, the unique melodies of the band remain in songs like “The Bee” and “Heart of the Giant”.

In short, Amorphis remains committed to quality performance and songwriting and “Queen of Time” won’t disappoint any of those who have stuck with them the last 15 years or so.