13 June, 2013

Amorphis: The Wanderer – new video

‘The Wanderer’, directed by Patrick Ullaeus, comes off AMORPHIS' latest album ‘Circle’, released in April 2013 on Nuclear Blast Records. Mildly hot - yet rich in flavour (made of apples, chipotle and bourbon, like their new bourbon sauce), ‘Circle’ was recorded at Petrax Studio in Hollala, Finland and at 5K Studios in Helsinki, Finland and produced and mixed by Peter Tägtgren (of HYPOCRISY and PAIN). AMORPHIS have conquered their home country's, Finland, charts with their eleventh album, which peaked at number 13 in Germany and Hungary, at number 14 in the UK (Rock Chart), and at number 33 in Sweden where it entered Rock/Metal Chart at number 3. In the United States, ‘Circle’ debuted at number 11 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers. ‘Circle’s art was created by Tom Bates and the first video released in its promotion, ‘Hopeless Days’, directed by Patrick Ullaeus. Theme-wise:
“The protagonist has been dealt a bad hand at birth. He’s always felt himself an outsider with strong potential to become marginalized. Through an accident, after a crisis, he finds a connection with his inner powers. A guide is sent to him, from another time and place. He gets a chance to take hold of his own life and change his destiny. From the past of Carelian Finland he finds his own spiritual tribe and the power to turn the course of his doomed life. This is a story of survival,” [summarized AMORPHIS' lyricist Pekka Kainulainen]
So, unless you have already helped AMORPHIS climb up the aforementioned charts, discover the said protagonist's fate and find the answer to the burning question: if in fact, back in the days, when there was something special to talk about, wise men used to sit in a circle - here (Nuclear Blast Europe) or here (Nuclear Blast USA), through AMORPHIS' webshop here, or via iTunes and Amazon/Amazon MP3.

Formed in Helsinki, Finland back in 1990 by lead guitarist Esa Holopainen and drummer Jan Rechberger who soon recruited vocalist and guitarist Tomi Koivusaari and bassist Olli-Pekka Laine to their worthy cause, AMORPHIS, “determined to follow no vision but their own”, recorded their first and only demo in 1991 which caught the ear of Relapse Records. The label issued the band's debut full-length, ‘The Karelian Isthmus’ (“one of the best early-'90s European death metal debuts” according to Jason Anderson, AllMusic – more here), the year that followed. Released in 1993 in Europe through Nuclear Blast Records, the successful debut was succeeded by AMORPHIS' first concept album based on the Finnish national epic the “Kalevala”, 1994' ‘Tales From The Thousand Lakes’, featured Kasper Mårtenson on keyboards and vocalist Ville Tuomi. Strenuous tours that ensued proved too much for Rechberger and Mårtenson; they were replaced by drummer Pekka Kasari and keyboardist Kim Rantala. In addition, AMORPHIS recruited a sixth member, singer Pasi Koskinen, just before the recording of their third album, 1996's ‘Elegy’, had begun. ‘Elegy’ was described as “a powerful release” and “an inspired leap forward” by AllMusic's Ned Raggett (more here). Relentless touring that followed this time claimed keyboardist Rantala. Without his “lush synthesizer arabesques”, AMORPHIS put forth their fourth longplayer, “a mellow guitar album”, 1999's ‘Tuonela’. Listen to the tune off it,‘The Way’, here (BandCamp). After ten years of doing it their way, AMORPHIS saw fit to issue a celebratory album called ‘Story: 10th Anniversary’. Defying expectations once again, the band next recorded a progressive, rock-leaning ‘Am Universum’, with it introducing keyboardist Santeri Kallio and bassist Niclas Etelävuori to the public. 2001's record peaked at position number 4 on Finnish Albums Chart and was described by Jason Hundey, AllMusic, as “AMORPHIS' crown jewel for creative composition” (read more here while you listen to the opening track ‘Alone’ here). Founding member drummer Jan Rechberger rejoined AMORPHIS on their heavier, folk-oriented journey deep into Turkish and Persian territories, 2003/2004's ‘Far From The Sun’, which eventually proved to be the last recorded with singer Pasi Koskinen. His replacement was found in Tomi Joutsen, himself an AMORPHIS fan since their early days. Reviving those very days, the band's next effort, 2006's ‘Eclipse’, proved a critical and commercial success; it went straight to the top of the Finnish charts, where it was certified Gold, selling over 15,000 units. AMORPHIS continued on the proven path in 2007, with their eight studio album ‘Silent Waters’, which also received Gold certification in the band's home country. After “the sheer energy” of ‘Eclipse’ and “the sensitivity” of ‘Silent Waters’, AMORPHIS released their “excellent” ‘Skyforger’ in 2009, which not only conquered their home country charts again, but also entered the Austrian, Swiss and American charts. Negotiating “the realms of death, folk, progressive, electronic, and psychedelic rock and metal for over 20 years, turning yet again to their trusty “Kalevala” for a story cycle (courtesy Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here)”, AMORPHIS issued their tenth record, ‘The Beginning Of Time’ in 2011. The “soundtrack for both cozy summer nights as well as the following fall and winter season” featured guest vocalists Savotta Choir and Netta Dahlberg.  

AMORPHIS features: Tomi Joutsen – vocals, Esa Holopainen – guitar, Niclas Etelävuori – bass, Jan Rechberger – drums,  Tomi Koivusaari – guitar and Santeri Kallio – keyboards


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