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Amorphis | Am Universum | review | doom | metal | Lollipop


Am Universum (Relapse)
by Martin Popoff

Although I can do without the saxophone solos, Am Universum is otherwise a sturdy, if a bit expected, continuance down the path Amorphis completely own, perhaps somewhat accompanied by Anathema. This singular sound is a combination of doomy, death-like melodies with completely conventional rock instrumentation. I find it a bit naggingly fence-sitting, as if Amorphis are writing enthusiastically in this space fans and critics have decided they should occupy. The whole album is prime, cagily-balanced Amorphis, but the songs are a bit suspect and self-aware, not as good as the high points on Tuonela (The Way, Summer's End), or, if I'm wrong about the songs, the production is once again not up to scratch, this time a bit raw for all the lush instrumentation. Amorphis are still one of a hallowed few bands that one can proudly point to as an example of healthy creativity in metal, and indeed, I still think they could be the next Led Zeppelin, but I find them a little at a loss for ideas here. The band needs a meticulous, showy, expensive hair band producer who will both produce the bejesus out of them and meddle in the band's creative process, weeding things out, making suggestions, etc. Weird... I find myself listening, enjoying, yet thinking while smirking, "Oh, aren't we clever lads then!"
(1720 South State Rd. Upper Darby, PA 19082)  

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