Elegy [Bonus Tracks]

Elegy [Bonus Tracks]

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by Amorphis
     
 

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To stand out in a field where the obvious signifiers are the most common, and therefore the most clichéd, elements, one has to know when to try something different. Amorphis had already shown itself to be a more than competent end-of-the-century Scandinavian black metal outfit, but there were plenty of others equally able to say the same. The

Overview

To stand out in a field where the obvious signifiers are the most common, and therefore the most clichéd, elements, one has to know when to try something different. Amorphis had already shown itself to be a more than competent end-of-the-century Scandinavian black metal outfit, but there were plenty of others equally able to say the same. The inspired turning point had two points of origin -- recruiting another lead vocalist, Pasi Koskinen, to sing with Tomi Koivusaari, and deciding to record an album infused with earlier Finnish folk influences, both musically and lyrically. The choice of lyrical inspiration, Finland's national epic The Kalevala, isn't necessarily surprising given how often metal of all kinds has favored tales of dungeons and grue. But Amorphis wisely eschew Conan the Barbarian grotesqueries in place of the often grim existentialism found in the original poems, more like a medieval northern Metallica (or even a Joy Division, if you like) than a prancing Dio. The result is a powerful release that, if anything, feels like an equivalent to Sepultura's own inspired combination of past and present, Roots. Esa Holopainen's use of sitar on certain tracks, like the opening "Better Unborn," as well as the continued use of keyboards shows the band avoiding some sort of retro-unplugged move -- it's still Amorphis ripping through things with a number of prog touches as they go, but wanting to bring all sorts of musical options to the fore (as with the folky dance break in "Cares," where the guitars almost sound Hawaiian). Koskinen's much clearer vocals nicely offsets Koivusaari's subterranean grumble, ensuring that the lyrics aren't lost in the flow. For all the darkness of the lyrics and delivery, there are some jaunty moments as well, like "On Rich and Poor," which for black metal is actually a pretty upbeat song, at least at the opening! With a gentle acoustic version of "My Kantele" closing things out, Elegy is an inspired leap forward. [In 2004 Relapse issued a remastered version of Elegy with beautiful packaging and four bonus tracks. There are live versions of "Better Unborn," "Against Widows," and "The Castaway," with a hidden cut included that is a live read of "Black Castaway."]

Product Details

Release Date:
08/17/2004
Label:
Relapse
UPC:
0781676663521
catalogNumber:
766635
Rank:
48849

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Amorphis   Primary Artist
Esa Holopainen   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Sitar,Group Member
Tomi Koivusaari   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Group Member
Olli-Pekka Laine   Bass,Group Member
Pasi Koskinen   Vocals,Group Member
Kim Rantala   Accordion,Keyboards,Group Member
Pekka Kasari   Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

Amorphis   Producer
Peter Coleman   Engineer
Esa Holopainen   Composer
Tomi Koivusaari   Composer
Olli-Pekka Laine   Composer
Kasper Martenson   Composer
Tomas Skogsberg   Engineer
Matthew F. Jacobson   Executive Producer
William J. Jr. Yurkiewicz   Executive Producer
Eric Horst   Art Direction
Mikko Karmila   Engineer
Kristian Wahlin   Cover Art
Traditional   Composer
Kim Rantala   Composer
Kai Hiilesmaa   Engineer

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