AMORPHIS: UNDER THE RED CLOUD (2015)
1) Under The Red Cloud; 2) The Four Wise Ones; 3) Bad Blood; 4) The Skull; 5) Death Of A King; 6) Sacrifice; 7) Dark Path; 8) Enemy At The Gates; 9) Tree Of Ages; 10) White Night; 11*) Come The Spring; 12*) Winter's Sleep.
Yes, the clock is still ticking! It's 2015 now, and here is another Amorphis album that sounds like any other Amorphis album. And you know what? I'm kind of tired to issuing one thumbs down after another rating to all these records — on one hand, blue color is expensive, and on the other, there's something to be said about sheer tenacity. When we are gone, every last bit of us, and even Keith Richards finally bites the dust, there'll still be a two-year waiting period for the next Amorphis album. Finland forever! Uralic peoples rule.
To keep matters short, here's a brief splotch of information. Under The Red Cloud was produced by «legendary» producer Jens Bogren, who used to work with all sorts of progressive and fantasy metal bands, from Opeth to Amon Amarth and beyond. The record places a little more emphasis on growling death metal vocals than the previous few, but still features plenty of clean singing, including even a guest contribution from female guest performer Aleah Stanbridge on the last track. There is one hybrid between melodic death metal and flute-led Celtic dance track (ʽTree Of Agesʼ), one mid-East-influenced song (ʽEnemy At The Gatesʼ), one song dominated by a piano melody behind all the guitar distortion and growling (ʽDark Pathʼ), and one Taylor Swift cover (ʽBad Bloodʼ). Okay, that last bit is not really true. And I'm not even sure if it were fun if it were true, but I'm really desperate here.
Very likely, there are some «new» riffs here, but to me, it just feels like I've already heard each of these songs about a dozen times, and even the little specific details singled out above are not particularly impressive — it's just that all the other songs are even less distinctive. Get this if your admiration for Circle matches your adulation of The Beginning Of Times and your adoration of Skyforger. To me, it's all equally interchangeable and forgettable, a pathetic overblown formula that ran out of sense already in the previous century.