Review: Amorphis

““Am Universum””
(Relapse Records)

Every now and again I hear a band that sounds exactly like another band that I love.  Amorphis is one of those bands.  Making clever use of the same techniques and sounding really close to Faith No More, they manage to capture an awesome aspect of metal.  I have heard many bands try to incorporate keyboards into hard-edge music but to no avail.  Usually, the marriage of the keys to metal is a fatal disaster, but not here.  “Alone” opens up the album with a smooth sounding guitar and keyboard lead in that blew me away.  The tune breaks in to a hard groove that would spook even Metallica.  The album seems to be set into a fantasy theme, but still holds its own with other bands such as Fragment.  “Shatters Within” turns the tide of the album by reminding you of Duran Duran (but just a little harder).  It’s a  great song that forces you to relive some of your 80’s mistakes (I know I had many of those).  Then its back to business with “Drifting Memories” with that driving guitar that could push a semi.  “Am Universum” is a killer album with a great potential to make it big.  With its hard edge and melodies it should definitely be a part of a metal lovers CD collection.