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Tales from the Thousand Lakes / Black Winter Day

Amorphis

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Album Review

Bolder than The Karelian Isthmus and conceptually superior to later attempts at progressive but radio-friendly '90s metal, Tales From the Thousand Lakes might just be Amorphis' best recording. This record is heavy, yet never succumbs to the inane extremes common to the melodic death metal genre. The guitars and drums are in ample supply, and a rare attention to arrangement and production really sets this disc apart. The guttural vocal work isn't for every metal fan, but the neo-prog instrumental work and overall heaviness should impress those turned off by the throaty rants. In a possible attempt to widen the band's appeal, Tomi Koivusaari briefly sings, which doesn't exactly work out. These moments of confusion are short-lived, though, and they hardly blemish the release. The subtle addition of keyboards is a nice touch — Amorphis' captivation with the instrument would soften later efforts. So even though Tales From the Thousand Lakes heralded a shift toward later, inferior recordings, the new and old are balanced precisely on this 1994 Relapse offering.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Helsinki, Finland

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Lead guitarist Esa Holopainen and drummer Jan Rechberger formed the band Amorphis in Finland in 1990. To complete their lineup they recruited vocalist/guitarist Tomi Koivusaari and bassist Olli-Pekka Laine. They released a demo in 1991 called Disment of Soul. The demo was so successful in getting attention for the group that they had acquired a record deal and released an EP the same year. They next released their first full-length album, The Karelian Isthmus, in 1992. The following year, their early...
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Tales from the Thousand Lakes / Black Winter Day, Amorphis
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