MetalBite Review by Chris on 4/25/2001
To tell you the truth I wasnít impressed with their previous album "Tuonela"
and to say the least I was a little worried about one of the greatest bands that ever played metal. And what a surprise! Prepare yourself for what might be one of the best albums of this year.
Before I tell you anything about this release I have to ask you for a definition of a music style called Ďmetal.í If itís a style of music with heavy, distorted guitar, screaming vocals and blasting drums then this opus is certainly not, but please donít leave yet. If you are a fan of Amorphis
or music in general youíll find the most passionate and complete work to date from these extraordinary talented guys.
As I expected, based on the previous release, the vocals are 99% clean now. The 1% stands for a rather emotional exclamation point rather than metal growls. Without going too deep into description of Pasi Koskinenís voice I can easily say that Iíve never heard him so emotional and involved. You almost get the feeling that things he sings about are so close to him it almost hurts.
The music layer is just exceptional. The sound, harmony or overall atmosphere is extremely well composed and will stay for days in your head. Guitarists Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivussari treat us with an unlimited amount of great riffs which, combined with Santeri Kallioís synth effects and his almost 70s classic sounding Hammond organs, create something such unique and beautiful to the human ear itís almost scary. And thatís not all, session saxophonist Sakari Kukko, who, by the way, plays an almost leading role on this album, brings probably the best warm-sounding sax passages Iíve ever heard. And if we add to this mix a perfectly dark-grooving rhythm section of Amorphisí
new bassist Niclas Etelavouri and Pekka Kasariís drums, I wonít even start picking best songs Ďcause I donít hear any weak ones.
By saying all that some of you are probably thinking I smoke too much. Maybe I do, but if you are a real music lover and you donít care about music style boundaries you will listen to "Am Universum"
at least three times a day like I do.
If you have at least a little appreciation for beauty you canít miss this one, otherwise hide in your basement and pretend Iím a spider-loving-hate-breathing-shit-eating son of a devil.
out of 10