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Review of the Mini Album "Privilege of Evil" by Finnish Heavy Metal Band Amorphis

Updated on August 24, 2020
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


What is the Musical Style of This Album?

Amorphis, the heavy metal band from Finland that has evolved into more of a progressive rock kind of band began their early years as a brutal, straight ahead death metal kind of band. Their mini album or Extended Play album called Privilege of Evil released in 1993 is just an example of that brutal, raw kind of death metal that was present at the time. I thought that since I’ve reviewed many of Amorphis’s other works that I might just as well review this one as well. Whether this is just by remarkable coincidence or not, the song called Weeper on the Shore is in my head and I'm humming the riff to that song as I write this.

This Album Has American Death Metal Influences in It

The musical style of the album is consistent, being in the vein of old school death metal and the vocals are of a grunting nature but they are not of the guttural vocal kind. Think of the vocals in this way: they are of a very low growl by Tomi Koivusaari however they are not like a dog growl or dog bark. They are just REALLY low in tone and the atmosphere musically is very spooky. Immediately from the first song as the growls come in, we are treated to what is a very raw, slow to mid-tempo death metal song set. There is a long, ongoing chant kind of noise as the riffing sets in and I hear an influence of early Florida style death metal in the first song: think about 1991 or earlier since bands like Death with Chuck Schuldiner were formed in 1983 a full ten years before this album.

"Pilgrimage from Darkness"

About the Songs Black Embrace and Misery Path

The second song called Black Embrace is in the style of the first song and this one is about what to so when you are gripped by terror and fear when you are frozen by fear and you are in pain. In these kinds of times, our mind can become our biggest enemy causing us to do or say things that we normally would not say or do. The song Misery Path actually lyrically presents two ways that a person can live their life. The person can either live a life of misery being like a prisoner to their negative thinking patterns or they can realize what the true meaning of life is and they can take steps to honor and love their life.

There is a Guest Vocal Performance on This Album

There is a cover performance of the song called Vulgar Necrolatry. The original song was written by the band called Abhorrence and the vocals for this song are done by vocalist Jukka Kohlemainen. This short album is a decent kind of old school death metal album that beats bands like Deicide and it is a good warm up for what was to come next in the career of Amorphis.

How Does the Album The Privilege of Evil End?

The last song called Excursing from Existence has a messy sound to it as it slows down. The lyrics are complex and hard to interpret. The vocals in 1994, a year after the release of this mini album or EP would be little bit clearer though only slightly. This last song sounds a little bit like that song Embodiment from the Heartwork album by Carcass. .

The Song Called Black Embrace

Final Thoughts About the Mini Album Privilege of Evil

The best songs in this six-song set are the first three songs. The opening song called Pilgrimage of Darkness has lots of growls in it that Tomi Koivusaari (the other Tomi) used to his advantage and it set him apart from Tomi Joutsen who would join the band many years later. Playing this album, you get the feeling that their style of death metal just fits in very well and is even better than the heavy, death metal style that the band Paradise Lost tried to play early on in their career. This article is not meant to be a comparison between Amorphis and Paradise Lost but it is clear that at this early stage, these guys were definitely destined for massive success. This min album also has the feel of not a chanting type but of a very old school heavy atmospheric type of metal that even to this day sounds pleasing as strange as that may be.

The Song Called Excursing from Existence

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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