Amorphis: Wikis

  
  

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Amorphis

Left-right: T. Koivusaari, N. Etelävuori, T. Joutsen, J. Rechberger, E. Holopainen and S. Kallio performing in 2008
Background information
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Genres Melodic death metal[1]
Death/doom[1]
Folk metal[2][3]
Gothic metal[1]
Progressive metal[1]
Years active 1990–present
Labels Virgin
Relapse
Nuclear Blast
Website www.amorphis.net
Members
Tomi Joutsen
Esa Holopainen
Tomi Koivusaari
Niclas Etelävuori
Santeri Kallio
Jan Rechberger
Former members
Pasi Koskinen
Olli-Pekka Laine
Pekka Kasari
Kim Rantala
Kasper Mårtenson

Amorphis is a Finnish metal band started by Jan Rechberger, Tomi Koivusaari, and Esa Holopainen in 1990. Initially, the band was a death metal act, but on later albums they evolved into playing other types of genres. They frequently use the Finnish national Kalevala as a source for their lyrics.

Contents

History

Formation and early years

In 1989, Jan Rechberger and Esa Holopainen played in a thrash metal band called Violent Solution, which Tomi Koivusaari had left the previous year to form the death metal band Abhorrence. Violent Solution slowly dissolved and Jan Rechberger and Esa Holopainen put together another death metal band. In early 1990, Tomi Koivusaari became the vocalist and Oppu Laine became their bassist.

During that time, Tomi also performed rhythm guitar, leading to the band dumping all original compositions and starting over again. Tomi's other band, Abhorrence, split up and he found himself with more time to put into Amorphis. A demo tape, Disment of Soul, was recorded in 1991 by Timo Tolkki at TTT studios.

The Karelian Isthmus and Tales from the Thousand Lakes

Amorphis in 1992 with Jukka Kolehmainen of Abhorrence.

After the band recorded their first studio demo tape, Relapse Records offered Abhorrence a recording contract. Since Abhorrence was no longer active, they sent their own demo in the return mail and got signed to a worldwide recording deal. Soon after getting signed they released their death metal debut, The Karelian Isthmus and later released the Privilege of Evil EP. The EP featured Abhorrence's original vocalist, Jukka Kolehmainen, on vocals on the Abhorrence cover song "Vulgar Necrolatry".

In 1994, Amorphis released their second studio album, Tales from the Thousand Lakes, a concept album based on the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. This 1994 release, while still rooted in death metal, was their first step toward a new direction as melodic clean vocals were added, provided by Ville Tuomi. Tales from the Thousand Lakes won the band a fan base thanks to its innovative sound and fusion of death metal with traditional folk, psychedelia, and progressive elements. This album went on to influence the signature Amorphis sound.[4]

Elegy and Tuonela

During the subsequent tours Kasper (keyboards) left the band, to be replaced by Kim Rantala. Jan was replaced by Pekka Kasari (ex-Stone), and a sixth member was recruited, singer Pasi Koskinen. The third album, Elegy was released in 1996. Lyrics were again adapted from Finnish mythology, in this case, the Kanteletar, a collection of ancient folk poetry. Pasi and Tomi shared the vocals on an equal basis, with Pasi's providing only clean parts.

After a year and a half of touring following the release of Elegy, the band members took a time-out. Their next offering, 1999's Tuonela was a mellow guitar album, although toward the end of the studio sessions, Santeri Kallio of Kyyria was brought in to add some keyboard tracks to the songs. New instruments were introduced (Tomi playing sitar in the song "Greed", Sakari Kukko on saxophone and flute providing a foreign accent) and the death growls were reduced, as most vocals were performed by Pasi (Tomi contributed the "cookie-monster" growls on "Greed").

The tenth-anniversary compilation Story was produced, and the band experienced another line-up change. Following the breakup of Kyyria, Santeri joined Amorphis as a full-time member. Bassist Oppu was replaced by another ex-Kyyria member, Niclas Etelävuori, to tour with Amorphis' on their third U.S. tour.

Am Universum and Far from the Sun

Am Universum was released in 2001, which included more emphases to keyboards and saxophone work, the latter contributed by Sakari Kukko. It was an experimental album and Amorphis' most psychedelic to date. In 2002 the band contributed to the soundtrack for the movie Menolippu Mombasaan. The commissioned piece was a cover version of a 1976 Finnish pop hit "Kuusamo", it is currently the band's only song in their native language.

Amorphis' last album with Relapse Records was Am Universum. In 2003, Relapse released the retrospective Chapters, which included a DVD featuring the band's videos from "Black Winter Day" to "Alone". Far from the Sun was produced by the band itself, which had been rejoined by original drummer Jan Rechberger after Pekka Kasari had quit to concentrate on family duties.. Pasi left the band after nine years.

Eclipse and Silent Waters

Left-right: J. Rechberger, T. Joutsen, S. Kallio and E. Holopainen at Ruisrock 2006.

In 2005, Amorphis found a replacement vocalist, Tomi Joutsen of Sinisthra. The band went on a US-tour and focused on new material. Joutsen was able to perform clean vocals as well as death vocals, the band now included death metal elements of their earlier releases with their later period progressive sound. The band recorded and released, Eclipse, the band's seventh album, which achieved gold certification in Finland.[5]

The band's eighth studio album, Silent Waters, was released on September 3, 2007 debuting at number 44 on the German Media Control chart and achieving gold certification.[5] It is the second album to feature vocalist Tomi Joutsen.[5]

Skyforger and present

Amorphis playing at Tuska 2009.

Amorphis headlined their first tour in North America in September, supporting their latest album Silent Waters along with supporting acts: Samael and Virgin Black.[5] After they finished touring, Amorphis entered Sonic Pump Studios in November to record the follow-up to their previous Silent Waters album.[5]

The next album Skyforger was released in Finland on 27 May 2009[6], with the rest of Europe following on the 29.[6] and the US on 16 June 2009.[6] As with Eclipse and Silent Waters, Skyforger was recorded at Sonic Pump Studios in Helsinki, and includes Marco Hietala on backing vocals.[7] The Limited Edition digipak version had a mastering problem with two of the tracks upon its original release, but Nuclear Blast soon issued replacement CDs to remedy the problem.[8][9]

Members

Vocalist Tomi Joutsen at Ankkarock 2008.

Current members

  • Tomi Joutsen – vocals (since 2005)
  • Esa Holopainen – lead guitar (since 1990)
  • Tomi Koivusaari – rhythm guitar (since 1990)
  • Niclas Etelävuori – bass (since 2000)
  • Santeri Kallio – keyboards (since 1999)
  • Jan Rechberger – drums (1990-1995, since 2003)

Former members

  • Pasi Koskinen – vocals (1996–2004)
  • Olli-Pekka Laine – bass (1992–1999)
  • Pekka Kasari – drums (1996–2002)
  • Kim Rantala – keyboards (1994–1998)
  • Kasper Mårtenson – keyboards (1993–1994)

Discography

Albums

Title Released
The Karelian Isthmus November 10, 1992
Tales from the Thousand Lakes July 12, 1994
Elegy May 14, 1996
Tuonela March 29, 1999
Am Universum April 3, 2001
Far from the Sun May 26, 2003
Eclipse February 15, 2006
Silent Waters August 29, 2007
Skyforger May 27, 2009

Singles and EPs

  • Disment of Soul (1991)
  • Amorphis (1991)
  • Privilege of Evil (1993)
  • Black Winter Day (1995)
  • My Kantele (1997)
  • Divinity (1999)
  • Alone (2001)
  • Day of Your Beliefs (2003)
  • Evil Inside (2003)
  • Far From The Sun (2003)
  • House of Sleep (2005)
  • The Smoke (2006)
  • Silent Waters (2007)
  • Silver Bride (2009)

Video clips

  • Black Winter Day
  • Against Widows
  • My Kantele
  • Divinity
  • Alone
  • Evil Inside
  • House of Sleep
  • Silent Waters
  • Silver Bride

Compilations

Title Released
Story - 10th Anniversary May 10, 2000
Chapters (CD and DVD) June 17, 2003

References

External links








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