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Review: Amorphis - Elegy

Label: Relapse Records
Year released: 1996
Duration: 56:35
Tracks: 11
Genre: Melodic Heavy Metal

Rating: 3/5

Review online: June 16, 2009
Reviewed by: Larry Griffin
Readers Rating

Rated 4.13/5 (82.5%) (32 Votes)

I tried to like this one, I really did. So many people have told me how great Elegy is, but I'm just not really feeling it. Amorphis' third effort is, yet again, another transitional effort in a career of transitional efforts, and mostly it just makes me want to turn it off. Amorphis never really seemed to want to be a metal band anyway, with only the very early material being out-and-out metal at all, so it comes as no surprise after the watery Tales from the Thousand Lakes that they decided to strip even more of the metallic elements from their sound. That isn't a bad thing in itself, but it is when you consider the fact that there aren't really any good songs on this album at all, only decent ones.

The basic sound is lightweight, fluffy melodic rock with annoying synthesizers and horrible grunge vocals. Seriously, who thought hiring this guy was a good idea? He doesn't even play any other instruments, he had just been hired to sing and nothing else. His voice is dry, reedy and limited, and it isn't good at all for the style of music these guys are shooting for. The riffs here are really quite bland and dry themselves, leaving most of the focus to the keyboard melodies, which are, quite frankly, annoying. I'm sorry, I just don't like these melodies at all. They're well played, but they don't do anything for me, being both too saccharine and too grating for my tastes. Maybe I'd like this better if I was a fan of stuff like Pink Floyd, but even then I doubt it, because Floyd usually managed better material than this.

I guess if I had to pick standouts, they'd be the seven minute title track or the half-ballad "The Orphan," but even those songs are not superb by any means, merely being "listenable." I just can't get that excited about this one. Elegy is not a terrible album, and it isn't even really bad, but when you get down to it, all this is is a merely competent album bogged down by annoying, overly sweet melodies and bad, bad vocals, and I can't recommend it.

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