By Rob Kachluba
Ever since vocalist Tomi Joutsen joined the band four albums ago Amorphis has been on a consistent roll for the most part firing on all cylinders. Last album Skyforger was a huge hit on many of year end lists and is probably their best work yet. Now A Beginning of Times is good but maybe not up to the quality of there last three outings. I will say however that TBOT is their heaviest album since Elegy, with “My Enemy” and “Three Words” being quite on the heavy side both vocally and musically, with heavy guitar and deathvox all over the place. It is similar to the last couple releases, but they keep adding little things to the sound in regards to atmosphere, like in “Mermaid”, which has angelic vocals in the background, and “Song of the Sage”, which utilizes female vocals and even flutes. I would say their sound has gone for a really progressive style with loads of atmosphere and they seem to be going even more into a straight ahead rock foundation but my main complaint is the lack of catchiness and hooks that were so instant on their last three albums. On TBOT they don’t seem to be as strong. There are strong tracks and the album flows very well but maybe album number four tends to be a grower. Regardless of what I think they are one of the leaders in metal with consistent songwriting and very folky cultural themes of Finnish history.