Tomi Koivusaari - Vocals, Rhythm & Acoustic Guitars, Tambourine
Esa Holopainen - Lead and Acoustic Guitars, Electric Sitar
Olli-Pekka Laine - Bass
Kim Rantala - Keyboards & Chordian
Pekka Kasari - Drums
Pasi Koskinen - Lead Vocals
Amorphis takes their name from the word "amorphous", meaning "no determinate
form or shape". Finland's most creative and universal metal band have certain
ly lived up to that name along the course of their 6 year history.
Amorphis have taken large strides with each consecutive album, reaching their most ambitious plateau yet with "Elegy". Boasting a sound more aligned with 70's progressive rock bands like Deep Purple or King Crimson or Finnish folk music than modern day death metal inspirations, Amorphis aren't afraid to let go of their past and fly into uncharted territories by way of their Finnish heritage. The band has always stood against the trends of the day, forging their own unique style amongst hordes of sound-alikes and wanna-bes...
Forming around the duo of guitarist/creative center Esa Holopainen and drummer Jan Rechberger, the two quickly picked up vocalist/guitarist Tomi Koivusaari after his band, underground grind sensations Abhorrence, broke up. Bass player Olli-Pekka Laine joined shortly after, and Amorphis recorded their one and only demo, "Disment of Soul", in mid-91. On the strength of this demo, Amorphis secured a multi-album deal with Relapse Records, immediately recording six songs which were intended for inclusion on a split-album with Incantation.
Due to an array of complications the release was scrapped. Two songs from this session were released as a special edition limited 7-inch, with the rest of the tracks being shelved until a later date. Building a solid underground following on the strength of the demo and the 7 inch EP, Amorphis capitalized on their rising popularity by recording their debut full-length entitled "The Karelian Isthmus". Named after a historic Finnish battlefield, "The Karelian Isthmus" blasted forth with majestically moving atmospheric death metal, far beyond their rather traditional death metal compositions that had come before it. The band's sound featured jagged doom riffs, vocal cries of mysery and ethereal synthesizers to complement their new adventurous sound.
Before work began on their next album, Relapse-Records released the entire recording session for the aborted split LP with 1993's "Privilage of Evil" on the Relapse Underground Series label. In 1994, Amorphis ventured even further into their keyboard-oriented progressive death metal sound, celebrating the rich Finnish history within the music. Bringing in a permanent full-time keyboardist in Kasper Mortenson, the band once again recorded in Sunlight Studios with Thomas Skogsberg, and emerged with one of 1994's finest masterpieces of metal, the critically acclaimed "Tales From the Thousand Lakes".
Incorporating lyrics from a Finnish national poem book, "The Kalevala", AMORPHIS fused elements of traditional heavy metal, doom , death and '70s progressive rock to craft an album that stunned not only the band's own followers but the entire metal underground. A video for "Black Winter Day" was filmed, eventually appearing on the"Deat... is just the beginning III" videocassette release. AMORPHIS toured Europe several times, with the likes of PARADISE LOST, GOREFEST, SENTENCED, TIAMAT among others.
Late '94 the band visited the American shores for the first time, as special guests for ENTOMBED's North American trek. Before any serious tours commenced , keyboardist Kasper Mortenson was replaced by Kim Rantala, due to Kasper's inability to meet tour commitments. Kim has become an integral part of the AMORPHIS sound, and since become a permanent member.
1995 brought yet another chapter in AMORPHIS history with the "Black Winter Day"ep, Featuring the single of the same name, as well as the unreleased tracks from the "Tales..."sessions, the EP held hungry fans over temporarily while the band took a short rest before writing and recording their third full-length epic... AMORPHIS have truly reached the highest pinnacle of their career yet with "ELEGY", an eleven-song journey into lush keyboards atmospheres, psychedelic guitar tones and an array of vocal deliveries, summoned by both Tomi and the new permanent "clean" vocalist Pasi Koskinen . "Elegy" also features the work of new drummer Pekka Kasari (ex.STONE), filling out the six-piece 1996 AMORPHIS line-up.
"Elegy" features lyrical inspirations from another legendary piece of Finnish literature,"The Kanteletar". The book is comprised of nearly 700 poems and ballads, based on Finnish traditions, everyday's life and people's philosophical and religious beliefs and first published in 1840. AMORPHIS have created a spellbinding work of progressive rock/metal anthems based on the book's legend and lore. "Elegy" traverses many musical paths and conjures a variety of moods, from the uplifting ode of "My Kantele" to the crushingly dismal sentiment of "Better unborn".
Recorded in the newly reconstructed Sunlight Studio with engineer Thomas Skogsberg, the band took the production duties into their own hands, and mixed the album with the help of reknown knobtwiddler Pete "Pee Wee" Coleman in England's parr Street Studios. Allowing a much more loose and laid-back musical expression while retaining their dark, forboding doom element, "Elegy" is surely AMORPHIS crowning achievement to date. Taking elements from their previous musical accomplishments, and molding yet another new shape with the spirit of progression and innovation, moving ever forward with each endeavor has become an ongoing AMORPHIS tradition.
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