Apr 22

Amorphis – Circle (2013)

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For more than 20 years Amorphis has endured countless lineup changes and a constant evolution. With their newest album Circle they have continued on with their evolution however this time with a new producer and a new original concept. Amorphis has again began to experiment with Circle giving us a more interesting album and an excellent one as well.

Concept-wise in the past Amorphis has used the Finnish epic poem The Kalevala as source material for their lyrics but for Circle they did something different with a new original story. The story was penned by Pekka Kainulainen who has worked with Amorphis since Silent Waters writing most of the lyrics. Pekka gives a summary of the concept for Circle:

The protagonist has been dealt a bad hand at birth. He’s always felt himself an outsider with strong potential to become marginalized. Through an accident, after a crisis, he finds a connection with his inner powers. A guide is sent to him, from some other time and place. He gets a chance to take hold of his own life and change his destiny. From the past of Carelian Finland he finds his own spiritual tribe and the power to turn the course of his doomed life. This is a story of survival.

This change in concept gives Circle an interesting feel when you listen for the first time. From the first song to the last you feel like you took a journey with the protagonist of the story.

Musically on Circle Amorphis is better than ever. On their album Skyforger we saw Amorphis create their magnum opus but when Beginning of Time came a few years later they tried to recapture what they did in Skyforger and failed a bit. With Circle we see a reinvigorated Amorphis trying some new sounds. One major difference you will notice is the production as this album was done from the insane mind of Peter Tägtgren instead of Marco Hietala of Nightwish (who has been producing with Amorphis since Eclipse). Peter Tagtgren is known for being a force in the metal community whether it be from his own band Hypocrisy or any band he has produced over the years he does not make bad albums whatsoever.

Amorphis has always been known to be a good melting pot of sounds mixing melodic death metal, folk, black metal, progressive, and doom all in one. Not one band really comes to mind than them on how much a band can change their sound over time. When they first came out in the early nineties they stuck to a really death metal sound. It wasn’t until their second album Tales From the Thousand Lakes that we saw Amorphis become more of a melodic death/doom band. When their third album Elegy came around they left off the extreme moments in favour of more progressive rock and New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Every album Amorphis came with they added a new element to their sound. It wasn’t really until in 2005 with the addition of vocalist Tomi Joutsen that Amorphis began to stop experimenting. With Tomi, Amorphis began to find its niche and made currently five albums and by the look of it he is not going anywhere. In Circle, we hear a few changes in the way Tomi does his vocals. Tomi has always been known for his low growls mixed with his cleans but on songs like Shades of Grey or Enchanted by the Moon we see Tomi using a more mid-pitched growl. In the song Nightbird’s Song for instance these new vocals are used quite a bit giving Amorphis an element not really seen in quite a while. Instrumentally Amorphis is excellent as ever on Circle. Guitarists Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari use everything in the playbook from beautiful leads to soul crushing riffs. Keyboardist Santeri Kallio adds the atmosphere that gives Circle a certain charm. Amorphis also would not be without its rhythm section in bassist Niclas and drummer Jan Rechberger.

With Circle Amorphis has continued their dominance of Finnish metal encompassing all that scene has to offer. They have created a fantastic album for 2013 and is sure to be a contender for best album of the year. Circle has something for everybody and its one album that needs to be heard.

Amorphis 2013 Photo By Terhi Ylimäinen


1. Shades Of Gray *

2. Mission

3. The Wanderer *

4. Narrow Path

5. Hopeless Days

6. Nightbird’s Song *

7. Into The Abyss

8. Enchanted By The Moon *

9. A New Day

* denotes recommended tracks

Genre:  Finnish Metal

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Playing Time: 46 minutes

Line Up:

Tomi Joutsen – Vocals
Esa Holopainen – Guitar
Tomi Koivusaari – Guitar
Santeri Kallio – Keyboards
Niclas Etelävuori – Bass
Jan Rechberger – Drums




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