Thursday, April 14, 2011

"The Luckless Lands of the North."

Shelby's post about Finnish metal over at Illogical Contraption a little while ago really stroked my shaft. Uh, musically, that is. I did however notice one glaring omission, which I can only attribute to the overwhelming obviousness of it's inclusion in the canon: Amorphis was left completely out of the discussion. Along with Cannibal Corpse and Deicide, Amorphis was one of the first DM bands to defile and corrupt my teenage mind. Or, more likely, they satisfied demented adolescent longings which had been theretofore repressed and dormant. After all, teenage boys don't spend much time worrying about things outside of sex, death, and self-gratification. Unlike their 'merican counterparts, who relied on speed, over the top gore, and cartoonish Satan-worship; Amorphis relied on a much more grandiose, melodic formula. Much like their neighbors in the Norwegian Black Metal scene which was at this time taking it's first iconoclastic steps, Amorphis chose to forge their Metal on the coals of their cultural history. This album, in particular reflects themes of national identity, as it is based on The Kalevala, The Epic Poem of Finland. So, as you might expect, if one wanted to describe the sound and themes of "Tales From The Thousand Lakes", the adjective "epic" might be more appropriate here than almost anywhere else. This is Finnish Metal in its purest form. Amorphis is still going, and I hate to be the "I only like their old stuff" guy, but this song off their newest one sounds like that awful HIM band that all the mall kids were so excited about a few years ago. Bad, but at least Amorphis gets credit for being wimpy first, and pioneering that sound. As a general guide, any Amorphis release with this logo:
= probably really good.
If it has a variation of this logo:
= probably not so good.
At least they made it convenient.

"From the Land of the Sky Blue Water - Amorphis, The Metal Refreshing." (DL)

(On an interesting side note, I found this map showing people of Finnish descent in America. Not, surprisingly, they are all here in Minnesota, "Land of 10,000 Lakes." Also the word "Tundra" is of Finnish origin. "Frozen Tundra" is my favorite way to describe Minnesota.)

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