01. Two Moons
02. House Of Sleep
03. Leaves Scar
04. Born From Fire
05. Under A Soil And Black Stone
06. Perkele (The God Of Fire)
07. The Smoke
08. Same Flesh
09. Brother Moon
10. Empty Opening
2006 Nuclear Blast Records
I'll be the first to tell you that I don't know one thing about Amorphis, so I did a bit of looking around to try and get some sort of reference for this review. Amorphis have a new vocalist on this recording, but, since I'm not familiar with their older material, I can't really tell you if he's better or worse than the old guy. I've read that Eclipse is more of a return-to-form for this Finnish band, and, if that's the case, then I'll probably be checking out their older material.
Eclipse is one hell of a metal/rock album. It's quirky as hell, but it's hard for me to shake these melodies out of my head. The riffs pack a punch, when they want them to, or they'll slow down and become quite serene. There is a great deal of folk influence throughout (check the beginning of "Leaves Scar"), and it makes its presence known in the heaviest parts in addition to the most calm. Some of the melodic leads bring to mind a power-metal sound, only much more serious and determined. The keyboards do a wonderful job of layering melody and atmosphere over these songs, no matter the energy level. The drumming isn't particularly great, but it certainly gets the job done and holds the rhythm. Overall, it's all about the riffs and leads. These guys sure know how to whip out some infectious melodic metal, and at certain points, I'm reminded of In Flames, during their own mellow moments. There is also some prog-rock going on here, almost as if these guys have been on a stead diet of Pink Floyd, but this isn't an overwhelming influence. Rather, it just adds another dimension to the music.
In respect to the new vocalist I don't know if he's better than the previous voice, but I can tell you that I dig this performance. He uses a gruff, deep singing for many songs, and also throws down some deep roars. There's a great deal of range in the singing, but you'll only hear the extremes in a couple of songs.
This album carries a great sense of melancholy and urgency throughout, and I enjoy this, because it's one continuous experience, instead of being chopped up into songs that can barely stand on their own.
Some of my complaints would deal with when the keyboards have a more traditional piano sound, and are brought up too high in the mix. It just sounds kind of cheesy, but I'm realizing this style of heavy music definitely brings along its own "cheese" factor. The rest of the production is slick as hell, but I haven't heard too many European metal bands that have sub-par recordings.
Bottom Line: This style of heavy music usually isn't my cup of tea, but I have to say that this album is so damn catchy and fun. At points, it can be cheesy and hard to take seriously, but Amorphis has crafted excellent songs. I can't really recommend this album to everyone that likes metal, but it might be worth it for you to give it a shot. I'm certainly glad that I did.