A Review of the Album Called "Elegy" by the Finnish Band Amorphis Released in 1996
Elegy: the album cover
Track Listing for the album "Elegy"
- Better Unborn
- Against Widows
- The Orphan
- On Rich and Poor
- My Kantele
- Song of the Troubled One
- Weeper on the Shore
- Relief (instrumental)
- My Kantele (acoustic version)
Why is the album Elegy significant in the career of Amorphis?
Finnish metal band Amorphis went into the studio in a very successful way. This is because they were coming off of their highly successful 1994 album Tales from the Thousand Lakes which can very well be their best studio album which was mentioned earlier. The result for the album to follow that one is called Elegy and it was released in 1996. However, there are few lineup changes for this album. The first notable change is the entry of vocalist Pasi Koskinen. Tomi Koivusaari still does the death metal vocals at this point in the band’s career though he would stop doing them as the band would gradually shift to a more progressive rock style of music. We also see the contributions of Kim Rantala who is playing the keyboards and accordion. Pekka Kasari plays the drums on this album replacing Jan Rechberger.
Another reason why Amorphis stands out from other bands
The result is still a very good album that has softer parts to give it that variety that sometimes an album needs to have. The lyrical concepts for this album remain unchanged and are similar to the previous release. This interesting kind of lyrical concept used by Amorphis has also been used by other bands such as Blind Guardian, Rhapsody of Fire, and Fairyland. Those bands use lyrics having to deal mostly with fantasy themes. These are things such as bards, orcs, goblins, and knights as well as other warriors. They do not have standard kinds of lyrical themes which sets them apart from many other bands.
What is One Example of a Great Song On This Album?
On Rich and Poor was always one of the highlights of the album and also one of the songs that is rather enjoyable. The song starts with Koivusaari’s death metal growls before Pasi Koskinen comes in. The two of them switch back and forth. The song is about the older population that remembers the days when they lived without the basic necessities that most of us might take for granted. Even though there was no sun and moon these people still managed to live and go on with their lives.
The song called Better Unborn
Other Great Songs On Elegy
However, the album gets off to a very solid start with the song called Better Unborn. It is about someone that wishes they had never been born. They wish that they had never been brought into this world to face the adversity and the hardship that they feel awaits them. Life may not be fair and all of us will have our struggles and hardship but life itself is a learning experience that is very valuable. The excellent melodies and songwriting are seen on songs such as The Orphan, Cares, Song of the Troubled One, and Weeper on the Shore which is also the favorite song on this album of this writer. Weeper on the Shore uses lots of accordion and it is one of the most well-written and beautiful songs in the band’s career. It is about a man who is sitting by the shore as the birds sing. He is sitting there trying to come to terms with his troubled past as tears are coming down from his face. The brilliance of this song cannot really be put into words! The last minute of the song is one that you will want to keep replaying over and over! The album also has an instrumental song called Relief. It ends with an acoustic version of the song called My Kantele.
The song called "On Rich and Poor"
Elegy is Still a Very Solid Album
Overall, there is nothing really bad to say about this album as it provides a great contrast between death metal style and clean vocals. It has good guitar play, excellent songwriting, and a great ending to the song Weeper on the Shore. It may not be the best that Amorphis has to offer but especially for the year 1996, it is one of the best metal albums of that year. Even more than 20 years later, Elegy is a great album to listen to! Is it as good as 1994's Tales from the Thousand Lakes? No it is not as good as that one but it is still very good! The best songs in this album are many including the obvious Weeper on the Shore, On Rich and Poor, Against Widows, Cares, The Orphan, and The Song of the Troubled One.
Favorite song on the album Elegy
What is your favorite song on the album Elegy?
The song Weeper on the Shore played on the piano!
© 2016 Ara Vahanian