Amorphis has been the clear representation of Finnish metal, long before Nightwish and Sonata Arctica appeared on the picture, Amorphis is a band that breaks musical structures with every album they release. From the classics Tales From The Thousand Lakes and Elegy, to the most modern Skyforger and now Under The Red Cloud.
This new album opens up with the title track of the album, a song carrying a dark and emotional tone, that has a lot of classic progressive elements, yet its catchy and Tomi does a great job on clean vocals. The Four Wise Ones, it’s a typical Finnish-metal style song, really epic, yet it has a lot of melo-death elements. Tomi ‘s growling vocals are a monster on its own that fits perfectly the atmospheric style of the song. Bad Blood is definitely the catchiest song of the album the combination of growling & clean vocals of Tomi is amazing, and their guitar work once again reflects a lot of melo-death elements.
The Skull has great bombastic backgrounds, with a lot of progressive elements. One thing that called my attention was how technical the keyboards and guitars are on this song. Death Of A King is a song that combines progressive and Middle East melodies, and again amazing clean vocals by Tomi. Definitely this deserves to be on their live setlist. Sacrifice has this eclectic sound that makes the song really dynamic and heavy. Even the catchy riffs and melodies are quite different from the rest of the album.
Dark Path has a Nightwish style feeling – specially on the keyboards – this song easily could be heaviest song on the record. Tomi really surprises you with those changes between clean and growls which are insanely good. Enemy At The Gates is progressive as hell, the amazing background music gives texture & color to the album. I personally love the simplicity of the drum parts. Tree Of Ages is the folkiest song on the album, it’s a bit estrange to hear Amorphis being folky. This is a really good song to be out of their genre definitely fun and catchy. Under The Red Cloud closes with White Night, this song is the perfect cherry on top, great arrangements, amazing and catchy prog filled with interesting changes .
I would say that this is one of the best album Amorphis have put out in recent history, Circles was a good album but Under The Red Cloud is the modern definition of the Amorphis sound, its interesting, fresh, daring, and definitely they experimented a lot with different genres that makes this album so diverse and complex at the same time. I really look forward to see some of this song performed live, there is a lot material here that would be amazing to see live.
5 out of 5 Rating:
01. Under The Red Cloud
02. The Four Wise Ones
03. Bad Blood
04. The Skull
05. Death Of A King
07. Dark Path
08. Enemy At The Gates
09. Tree Of Ages
10. White Night
Genre: Progressive Metal
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Playing Time: 49 minutes
Esa Holopainen – lead guitar
Tomi Koivusaari – rhythm guitar
Jan Rechberger – drums
Santeri Kallio – keyboards
Niclas Etelävuori – bass, live backing vocals
Tomi Joutsen – vocals