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Review of the Album Circle by Finnish Heavy Metal Band Amorphis

Updated on March 25, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

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Circle Is An Album That Adds to the Excellence of the Band Amorphis

Finland’s Amorphis has a habit of releasing one solid heavy metal album after the other and they are one of the premier bands in Finland when it comes to progressive metal or progressive rock and they have even tried to incorporate some harsh vocals in spite of their style changes. Their 2013 studio album Circle is the next one that we will be reviewing and analyzing.

Analysis of the Songs Mission, The Wanderer, & Narrow Path

The song “Mission” is yet one more example of what makes Amorphis such a great band. It is their ability to create songs that have a variety of starting types and beginnings. The beginning of this song is a sort of soft, almost magical beginning as the song tells the tale of someone that had their life literally given back to them by someone unknown source that also told them their life mission or purpose. “The Wanderer” is a song that tells the story of a homeless man that although he is man without a home, he is able to lift the burden off of his shoulders with the power of a smile. He is magically able to laugh at himself as he lets go of all the futile and needless things that have a tendency to drag most of us down. Narrow Path is a song that resembles what Ensiferum would do in their musical career.

Even Shades of Gray Is a Good Song

Shades of Gray starts off this album and we see Tomi trying to use an aggressive vocal approach at the start though this is an interesting yet unusual move because since the early 2000s these guys have been using a more progressive rock approach with lyrical themes about Finnish poems. Since listening to Amorphis around 1999 or so, I have seen their evolution as a band though I sometimes miss their earlier albums as they had that awesome death metal feel but even in 2013 they show that they are among Finland’s best metal bands.

"Hopeless Days"

The Song "Mission" Is a Better Modern Day Paradise Lost Influenced Song

The musical approach on the song “Mission” is slightly better and the notes flow better thus creating a beautiful atmosphere. The song is a better modern version of Paradise Lost. Some of you may be in disbelief that this writer is comparing Amorphis to Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost and Nick Holmes are good but those guys don’t have the level of solid excellence that Amorphis does and Amorphis has always managed to create a finished musical product that works and flows well.

"Mission"

Analysis of the Song Hopeless Days

"Hopeless Days” tells the story of a man that never wanted to be born into a world that he considers to be cruel. The song has the kind of feel that Finnish Gothic metal band To/Die/For would use throughout their career. It is a decent song but it is not one of the strongest on the album Circle even though it has that influence that was mentioned.

Nightbird's Song Has One Good and One Bad Thing About It

Even so the album Circle is not perfect as there may be some flaws in it. One example is the overuse of the vocal growls by Tomi in the song called Nightbird’s Song. The accordion in it provides a nice contrast and gives it that new age kind of feel and this is an example of Amorphis having reinvented themselves.

"Nightbird's Song"

Analysis of the Song "Into the Abyss"

“Into the Abyss” has the new age feel of a song by Greek musician Yanni and it is a hybrid of new age and progressive rock which may not appeal to some fans but I find it a nice combination. Lyrically the song tells the story of a man that has traveled a long road and had so many victories yet he is now exhausted and he is slipping on the icy road and he wonders who has called him. Is he the chosen one on a certain mission?

"The Wanderer"

Final Thoughts About the Album Circle

The strongest songs in Circle are Mission, The Wanderer, and Narrow Path. It will be very difficult for these talented Finnish guys to ever be able to duplicate the greatness that is on albums such as Tales from the Thousand Lakes or Elegy. Amorphis has been so great that some fans may wonder if the album Circle is their “weakest” moment musically. It probably is this band’s “weakest” moment but even so, they are still good even when they drop off a little bit musically. These guys can do little wrong musically thus putting them on a level matched by few bands in the genre. Before we forget, it is necessary to analyze the last two songs of an album that reached #1 on the Finnish musical charts. Enchanted by the Moon is a heavy song that in terms of its style represents the Finnish folk metal band Battlelore which is also from Finland. The heaviness stays in this song unabated as Tomi’s heavy vocal grunts dominate this song. Circle is not that great that it should end up on the #1 position on any musical chart because none of the songs are great enough on this album for that. “A New Day” is the song that ends this album and the song is about what happens when someone dreads the dawn of a new day. They are afraid of night coming to an end because the day to them feels like a drag to get through. Circle is still a decent work by Amorphis. It is just that it does not have that extra musical hook shall we say to be on the level of even the album Silent Waters. But for the avid fan of Amorphis, Circle is one of the good albums.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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