Amorphis “Under The Red Cloud” review (by Koen Oostendorp)

Amorphis “Under The Red Cloud” review (by Koen Oostendorp)

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Amorphis - Under The Red Cloud - Artwork

Amorphis “Under The Red Cloud”
Nuclear Blast Records

I got introduced to this band on one of the rare occasions that the YouTube suggestions actually suggested something, well, good. The track was SACRIFICE, and it was accompanied by a stunning music video. The music grabbed my attention too. Somehow there was an element of melody only rarely achieved by bands these days. I am well aware of the fact that there are so many bands out there who operate under the “melodic” metal label, but amorphis truly hit all the right notes here. Literally. As written in the press sheet,  there is a melancholic side to the music. The melodies are quite haunting in that regard. The album opens with the title track. This is one of those times that staying away from regular 4/4 time signature actually benefits the SONG aspect of the song. That’s another thing that’s very well done here. We have an album filled with songs. What I am trying to say is that these are based upon fairly simple chords and songs structures, and yet the manage to be very colourful and rich. Technical brilliance is great from time to time, but I have tremendous respect for amorphis to make this album song – based. Another stand out track is DEATH OF A KING, which sees the band trying some new sounds. And it works, especially the flute in the verse. Production – wise, it really doesn’t get any better than this. The mix is super thick, but at the same time it also breathes and is very fresh-sounding .the playing is good, thee rhythm section is tight and the soloing is very well done. To top it all off, the vocals totally dominate. It doesn’t matter if there is singing or growling, the vocals always fit the music perfectly. Now, after all this praise, it is time to look at this albums weak points. Though not plentiful, there are some imperfections. For example: while fun for the first couple of listens, TREE OF AGES gets a bit cheesy after some time. I also wished there was one song that really stood out. Not quality wise, but more because it’s unique. And while there weren’t any songs I didn’t like, there were a couple that didn’t really stick with me the way for example SACRIFICE and UNDER THE RED CLOUD did.

The verdict:
Should you listen to this album? Oh yes you should! I’d say it is there most enjoyable album in recent years (from what I’ve heard so far) and definitely one of the better releases of 2015.

Score; 8.75

(c) Koen Oostendorp

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