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Terra Relicta Top 20 Of 2018

01. Amorphis -
Queen Of Time
02. Dimmu Borgir -
03. Khôrada - Salt
04. Immortal -
Northern Chaos Gods
05. MGT -
Gemini Nyte
06. Summoning -
With Doom We Come
07. Crone -
08. Primordial -
Exile Amongst The Ruins
09. Atrium Carceri & Herbst9 -
Ur Djupan Dal
10. Mournful Congregation -
The Incubus Of Karma


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Amorphis - Queen Of Time (2018) - Review

Band: Amorphis
Album title: Queen Of Time
Release date: 18th May 2018
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

01. The Bee
02. Message In The Amber
03. Daughter Of Hate
04. The Golden Elk
05. Wrong Direction
06. Heart Of The Giant
07. We Accursed
08. Grain Of Sand
09. Amongst Stars
10. Pyres On The Coast

One of the most unique bands in the entire metal scene must be the Finnish Amorphis, not only that they have in their 28 years long career made a huge impact on heavy music like we know it today, the band has also developed their own hard to really define style to which almost no other band comes close. Their albums like Tales From The Thousand Lakes (1994) or Elegy (1996) are considered as absolute metal classics, but to be truthful, this band hasn't made a bad album yet, every single one is something special and shows bands progressive compositional way of thinking, and now three years after the as well amazing Under The Red Cloud they offer in my opinion one of the best and most complete albums they ever did.

Queen Of Time has everything you can expect that a forward thinking band would offer. Technically and productionally (thanks also to the producer Jens Bogren) is flawless, it has also the necessary depth and is emotionally charged. The album is heavy, dynamic and has some of the best transitions between harsh and clean parts that I ever heard. Everything seems to be in perfect harmony, it's not too extreme, not too sweet, just rightly melancholic, dark and just rightly technical. Amorphis so very nicely conceals the progressive character of their music with amazing folkish melodies and truly captivating rhythms, and by doing this they achive kind of a special drive that is present throughout all of the songs. The songs are dense, rich, massive,... Amorphis really surpassed all the expectations with this new album, no doubt about that. Not only that the album with its ten songs offers an astounding listening experience, I'm pretty sure that the songs are also made in the way to bring a real blast when played live.  

This is also the first Amorphis album with such an abundant use of orchestrations and a choir, which makes the sound even more atmospheric, moody and multidimensional, yes it's lush and on some segments almost solemn, sometimes it feels very bombastic with dramatic and many times almost cinematic depth. To make everything even more interesting the band invited guests such as Russian laryngeal singer Albert Kuvezin, Norwegian saxophonist Jørgen Munkeby (Shining, Jaga Jazzist, Ihsahn, Emperor), Chrigel Glanzmann (Eluveitie) on pipes, and the amazing Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering, Agua de Annique, The Gentle Storm,...). The whole album feels like an epic, dark and mysterious heavy metal fairytale that takes us deeper into the Finnish folklore and cosmic world that Amorphis has created.

Already the triumphant album opener "The Bee" sets the tone very high, what a drive, what a power, what a cohesion,... Tomi Joutsen voice sounds even better than before, like if there's some additional depth in his lungs, no matter if he sings with harsh or clean vocals, and it doesn't stop here, each consequent song brings something different and new to the palette. "Message In The Amber" has great variety between folk, orchestral and extreme parts, "Daughter Of Hate" surprises with black metal screams which nicely blend with oriental melodies, "The Golden Elk" is the most progressive metal sounding track, yet it has such a catchy refrain, "Wrong Direction" is the most gentle in nature, moody and sung almost completely with clean voice, "Heart Of The Giant" brings some astonishing orchestrations and chants, before Amorphis strike real hard and fast with the most energetic and fast driving track here - "We Accursed". "Grain Of Sand" has an oriental vibe in the perfect mix with 70s psychedelic rock and Nordic coldness creating rather haunting ambiance, but the highlight of all must be in my opinion the mesmerizing anthem "Amongst Stars", where Tomi signs in a such a captivating duet with Anneke van Giersbergen, simply breathtaking, you must hear to believe. The album then closes with another very intriguing rather viking/death metal inspired melancholic but energetic piece, "Pyres On The Coast".

Queen Of Time is a beautiful and powerful journey, an adventure that last for almost one hour but will be remembered forever. It's not that Amorphis changed that much, they simply added some new things into their already amazing sound, it's really great to see the band still growing after all this years and not just setting down on what they already achived in the past; you need some courage and most of all the necessary skill and talent for doing this. They have set some new standards not only for themselves but for the whole metal genre. Amorphis is now bigger than ever, with their fateful thirteenth studio album, the band provides a ground-breaking epic about the rise and fall of civilization. The day has come - the next defining moment in an unprecedented career has arrived. Queen Of Time is a fascinating album and an absolute must for every fan of metal metal out there!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 10/10


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