Friday, January 3, 2014

Amorphis - Tales from the Thousand Lakes (1996)

Before Amorphis decided that they had had enough of the heterosexual lifestyle and shoulder-blocked their way from out of the confines of the closet, they were actually a somewhat decent death metal band from Finland.

There are many ways of looking at 'Tales From the Thousand Lakes'. One can be to interpret it as the band "dipping their toes" into one of many vast lakes of homosexuality (that are apparently located in Finland) before deciding to cannonball into its "depths" as they eventually did with 1996's 'Elegy'. Another is to see it as the natural progression from 'The Karelian Isthmus', or more accurately, 1/2 of that album as the other half merely consists of spiced up versions of demo and 'ep' tracks.

I actually really like this album. The band somehow manages to take the softer, melodious aspects of the riffing and bring them to the brink without ever actually falling into the lake of homosexuality. More than a few times things come close to that horrid scenario but are thankfully reeled back in and the sounds of ice cold majesty continue on their wintry path.

The vocals have always reminded me a bit of Barney from Napalm Death which is fine by me as I've always thought he had a killer voice.

The guitar sound is of the Skogsberg/Stockholm/Sunlight variety and fits the music perfectly.

Depending on how "daring" you consider your musical palate to be, this may or may not be the last good Amorphis album as 'Elegy' is the point where the band decided to go full retard what with all of the branching out and such. With TFTTL Amorphis were still safely entrenched within the confines of being a death/doom band.

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