A Review of the Album "Am Universum" by Amorphis Released in 2001
Am Universum: lineup changes and why it is such a good album
Finnish metal band Amorphis changed their musical style in the early 2000’s. Their 2001 release "Am Universum" is another album that I would say is a solid one and still features Pasi Koskinen doing the vocals. There are a few lineup changes for this album though. Santeri Kallio does the keyboards while Niclas Etelavuori takes over on bass replacing Olli Pekka Laine. Am Universum is a big step up from 1999's Tuonela. While I think Tuonela had one really great classic song in Nightfall, Am Universum has more than that while maintaining the progressive rock feel. That is not to say that Tuonela was a bad album because it was not. Am Universum is just better written and Pasi Koskinen is a pretty darn good singer.
The difference between Am Universum compared to the Earlier Releases of Amorphis
Am Universum came out over 19 years ago but the album is still a very good one to have and I have had it for many years. The band has changed since their early days. While the earlier albums such as Tales of the Thousand Lakes featured lots of heavy guitars and growling vocals by guitarist Tomi Koivusaari, Am Universum is obviously lighter and more progressive. Change is sometimes a good thing because it shows that a band is evolving and maturing. With the change in style, Amorphis has been able to make that successful transition from death metal to doom metal and then to progressive rock. (Note: the album's best tracks are the ones in bold). However, there are also songs such as Crimson Wave that also deserve consideration. The song is about someone who is facing a period of anguish in their life. They don't want to share that pain with anyone else and they would rather keep that feeling to themselves. The song has a sort of jazz and blues feel to it and it is definitely something different that Amorphis has done in their career.
Am Universum Songs List
2. Goddess (of the Sad Man)
3. The Night is Over
4. Shatters Within
5. Crimson Wave
6. Drifting Memories
7. Forever More
8. Veil of Sin
9. Captured State
10.Grieve Stricken Heart
Shatters Within and Crimson Wave Song Reviews
Shatters Within is a song about a despondent man that has turned hi back to the world and he does not seem to care. Crimson Wave has some more solid vocals by Pasi as well as some interesting keyboard play. Yes, Am Universum is now one of Amorphis' older albums. They have been around since 1990 and that is a few years before my musical journey into heavy metal began.
"Goddess of the Sad Man"
Goddess of the Sad Man: one of the best Amorphis songs ever Followed by The Night is Over
One of the first highlights is the song Goddess of the Sad Man. This groovy rock song has always been one of my favorite songs to sing along with. The Night is Over is a decent song. It is about wanting to see light in our lives instead of being drawn to darkness. However, there are times where human beings will be drawn to the wrong crowd. They will listen to those who will eventually brainwash them and lead them down the wrong path.
Best song on the album Am Universum
What is the best song on the album Am Universum?
"Grieve Stricken Heart"
Amorphis Am Universum review: the second half of the album
Drifting Memories has a very important message. That message is that we must be modest and have the capacity to forgive others. That is one of the hardest things to do. Hating someone will only hurt us and not the people that we hate. Veil of Sin is another one of the highlights of the album and is one of the softer songs and it is not short of outstanding. Pasi's nice clean voice along with the keyboard play make this one a great one to listen to day or night. Veil of Sin is well… to keep it brief absolutely dazzling, incredible, and well-written by one of Finland’s finest bands! Thanks so much to the talents of Esa, Tomi, and the other guys in Amorphis.
Final Thoughts About Am Universum
The album comes to a solid end with the song Grieve Stricken Heart. The song is basically about a destructive relationship where one person will not forgive their partner. Their partner is left being miserable. The song is easily one of the best in the history of Amorphis. Am Universum is not the band's best work but it is another very good release from one of Finland's best bands along with Stratovarius, Mokoma, and many others. Am Universum in 2018 may be better than Elegy and you know what? A strong case could be made for this because of songs such Goddess of the Sad Man, Shatters Within, Crimson Wave, and Grieve Stricken Heart.
Rate the Album Am Universum
© 2016 Ara Vahanian