Amorphis are one of my favorite bands. While that might make this seem like a bias review, the truth is I hold my favorite bands to a very high standard. With Amorphis, I keep waiting for them to release a bad album. It never happens and that streak continues with “Queen of Time.” “Queen of Time” is yet another great album and one of the best albums that Amorphis have ever released. Why?
For starters, the band have THEIR sound. No one else sounds like Amorphis and on “Queen of Time,” they take that core progressive metal, folk metal style and add to it. Producer extraordinaire Jens Bogren pushed the band more than ever and while the band has said it was challenging to make the album, the results speak for themselves. The songs are tight, strong on melody and epic as fuck.
Part of that epic sound comes from Bogren having the band add orchestration to some of the sounds. It takes an already massive sounding track and just pushes it to be cinematic. Yes you have the classic Amorphis sound on tracks like the opener “The Bee” but tracks like “Heart of the Giant” and “Pyres on the Coast” are something out of a movie. It’s clear this was the next logical step with their sound.
“Queen of Time” has some absolute classic songs on it for sure. “The Golden Elk” has become a favorite of mine, with the chorus stuck in my head as I am typing this right now. And who else but Amorphis would have a song called “The Golden Elk”?!? “Wrong Direction” is another great, infectious song that ranks with anything that the band has ever done. “Amongst Stars” has Anneke van Giersbergen guesting on it and while I am usually against guest vocalists, Anneke FITS what Amorphis does. Plus she can hold her own with Tomi Jousten, who sounds as amazing as he always does!
Jousten has one of the best voices that I have ever heard. He has a great clean vocal and a death vocal that you can always understand. The perfect example is “Daughter of Hate” where he is absolutely spitting venom during the chorus and it is incredible. What a performance. Speaking of performances, original bassist Olli-Pekka Laine is back with the band and I love how easy it is to pick out his parts in the mix. He is pulling double duty now since his own band Barren Earth released an album not long ago. It’s great to hear him with Amorphis again though.
There’s not a bad note to be found on “Queen of Time.” Amorphis should be considered one of the best bands in progressive metal. Honestly I think they are far more consistent than Opeth, for example. “Queen of Time” is a true progressive metal masterpiece that is absolutely essential for anyone who loves the genre. Amorphis raised their game eventhough they didn’t need to and THAT is the sign of genius.
1. The Bee
2. Message In The Amber
3. Daughter Of Hate
4. The Golden Elk
5. Wrong Direction
6. Heart Of The Giant
7. We Accursed
8. Grain Of Sand
9. Amongst Stars
10. Pyres On The Coast
11. As Mountains Crumble
12. Brother And Sister