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Amorphis 032008 024.jpg
Left-right: T. Koivusaari, N. Etelävuori, T. Joutsen, J. Rechberger, E. Holopainen and S. Kallio performing in 2008
Background information
Origin Helsinki, Finland
Years active1990–present
Labels Virgin (2003), EMI, Relapse, Nuclear Blast, Mojo Records, Mystic Productions, Victor Records (JVC), Spinefarm

Amorphis is a Finnish heavy metal band founded by Jan Rechberger, Tomi Koivusaari, and Esa Holopainen in 1990. Initially, the band was a death metal act, but on later albums they evolved into playing other genres, including progressive metal, and folk metal. They frequently use the Kalevala , the epic poem of Finland, as a source for their lyrics. [1]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Tomi Koivusaari Finnish musician

Tomi Koivusaari is the current rhythm guitarist and former vocalist of the Finnish metal band Amorphis. He started playing at the age of 12, his first band was Violent Solution formed in 1987, with him on guitars and vocals, Esa Holopainen on guitars and Jan Rechberger on drums. The band played thrash metal, recorded a demo and an EP. He also formed a death/doom band called Abhorrence in 1989, and recorded a demo and an EP. Both bands broke up in 1990, but Tomi was not a member of Violent Solution since he formed Abhorrence.

Esa Holopainen Finnish musician

Esa Holopainen is a Finnish musician, currently the main songwriter, occasional lyricist, founding member and lead guitarist of the Finnish metal band Amorphis. He is one out the two longest standing members of the band and one of the four original members in the band.



Disment of Soul & The Karelian Isthmus

Jan Rechberger played in a thrash metal band called Violent Solution, which Tomi Koivusaari had left in 1990 to form the death metal band Abhorrence, with Koivusaari being replaced by Esa Holopainen. Violent Solution slowly dissolved with Jan Rechberger and Esa Holopainen deciding to continue working with each other to form their own death metal band, Amorphis.[ clarification needed ] With Rechberger having ties with Koivusaari, in early 1990, Koivusaari became the vocalist and the band also got Oppu Laine to become their bassist. During that time, Koivusaari also performed rhythm guitar, leading to the band dumping all original compositions and starting over again.[ why? ] Koivusaari's other band, Abhorrence, split up and he found himself with more time to put into Amorphis.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead guitar work. The lyrical subject matter often deals with criticisms of The Establishment, and at times shares a disdain for Christian dogma resembling that of their black metal counterparts. The language is typically quite direct and denunciatory, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may evoke slasher film-stylized violence, political conflict, religion, nature, philosophy, and science fiction.

Abhorrence Finnish band

Abhorrence is a Finnish death metal band originally formed in 1989.

A demo tape, Disment of Soul, was recorded in 1991 by Timo Tolkki at TTT studios. It was meant to be Dismemberment of soul but they forgot the word "member" and so it was Disment.

Timo Tolkki Finnish musician

Timo Tapio Tolkki is a Finnish musician best known as the former guitarist, songwriter and producer of the power metal band Stratovarius. With his tenure lasting for more than twenty years, he was the longest standing member of the band before his departure in 2008. After leaving Stratovarius he formed two supergroups named Revolution Renaissance and Symfonia, both of which have since disbanded. In a 2011 article by Guitar World magazine, Tolkki was included in the all-time top 50 list of the world's fastest guitarists.

Amorphis in 1992 with Jukka Kolehmainen of Abhorrence Amorphis1992.jpg
Amorphis in 1992 with Jukka Kolehmainen of Abhorrence

After the band recorded their first studio demo tape, Relapse Records offered Abhorrence a recording contract. Since Abhorrence was no longer active, they sent their own demo in the return mail and were signed to a worldwide recording deal. Soon after getting signed they released their death metal debut, The Karelian Isthmus under the new name Amorphis and later released the Privilege of Evil EP. The EP featured Abhorrence's original vocalist, Jukka Kolehmainen, on vocals on the Abhorrence cover song "Vulgar Necrolatry".

Relapse Records record label in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, United States

Relapse Records is an American independent record label based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. It was founded by Matthew F. Jacobson in 1990. The label features many grindcore, death metal, and sludge metal artists.

<i>The Karelian Isthmus</i> 1992 studio album by Amorphis

The Karelian Isthmus is the title of the third release\first full-length studio LP album of Finnish metal band Amorphis, released in 1992.

<i>Privilege of Evil</i> 1993 compilation album by Amorphis

Privilege of Evil is an EP by the Finnish band Amorphis released in 1993. It is a collection of demo material from Amorphis' early career recorded in Timo Tolkki's (Stratovarius) TTT Studio in 1991. At that time only two of these songs were picked for the band's first 7" single, but the full session was released two years later on this EP. On the EP's reissue by Relapse Records, the band became upset to hear that their early material was released. The material on this EP was originally meant to be for a split album with Incantation, which never materialized. Incantation's half of the split would only be released individually sixteen years later as the Blasphemous Cremation EP.

Tales from the Thousand Lakes

In 1994, Amorphis released their second studio album, Tales from the Thousand Lakes , a concept album based on the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. This 1994 release, while still rooted in death metal, was their first step toward a new direction as melodic clean vocals were added, provided by Ville Tuomi. Tales from the Thousand Lakes won the band a fan base thanks to its innovative sound and fusion of death metal with traditional folk, psychedelia, and progressive elements. This album went on to influence the signature Amorphis sound. [2]

<i>Tales from the Thousand Lakes</i> 1994 studio album by Amorphis

Tales from the Thousand Lakes is the second full-length album by metal band Amorphis. It is a concept album, the lyrics are based on the Finnish national epic, Kalevala. While still predominantly death metal, the album shows a greater influence of doom metal than the band's debut, along with more melodic, heavy metal-inspired riffing and elements of progressive rock and traditional Finnish folk music. The album also introduced synthesizers and clean vocals to the band's sound, though the latter was used sparingly.


During the subsequent tours Kasper (keyboards) left the band, to be replaced by Kim Rantala. Jan was replaced by Pekka Kasari (ex-Stone), and a sixth member was recruited, singer Pasi Koskinen. The third album, Elegy , was released in 1996. Lyrics were again adapted from Finnish mythology, in this case, the Kanteletar, a collection of ancient folk poetry. Pasi and Tomi shared the vocals on an equal basis, with Pasi providing only clean parts. After a year and a half of touring following the release of Elegy, the band members took a hiatus.

Stone (band) Finnish thrash metal band

Stone is a thrash metal band formed in Kerava, Finland in the mid-1980s. They released four albums and one live album during the late 1980s and early 1990s, before disbanding in 1991 to pursue different musical directions. Stone reunited to play a final set of concerts in 2000, but parted ways again soon afterwards. In 2008, Stone made five "re-union"/comeback appearances. They reunited again in March 2013 for select shows in order to promote their new box set. The band is still active as of March 2014.

Pasi Koskinen is a Finnish metal vocalist and musician, currently the vocalist and guitarist of the band Datura Nemesis (2013–), but he is perhaps best known as the vocalist of the band Amorphis (1995-2004).

<i>Elegy</i> (Amorphis album) 1996 studio album by Amorphis

Elegy is the third album by the then-emerging Finnish band Amorphis. The album is their first to feature a majority of clean vocals, sung by new vocalist Pasi Koskinen. The music and lyrics are inspired by the traditional Finnish ballads and poems compiled in the Kanteletar by Elias Lönnrot in 1840. The primary genre of the album is progressive metal, with strong folk influence, as well as elements of melodic death metal and heavy metal. Many of the album's tracks, e.g. "Against Widows", have become fan favorites and have been performed in concerts since Elegy's release. In 2004, Relapse Records reissued Elegy as a digipak, featuring four live bonus tracks. The songs "Against Widows", "On Rich and Poor", "My Kantele" & "Song of the Troubled One" were all re-recorded on Magic & Mayhem – Tales from the Early Years. "My Kantele" was covered on Live & Acoustic by Thurisaz.

Tuonela & Story: 10th Anniversary

Their next offering, 1999's Tuonela , was a mellow guitar album, although toward the end of the studio sessions, Santeri Kallio of Kyyria was brought in to add some keyboard tracks to the songs. New instruments were introduced (Tomi playing sitar in the song "Greed", Sakari Kukko on saxophone and flute providing a foreign accent) and the death growls were reduced, as all vocals were performed by Pasi. [3]

The band experienced another line-up change. Following the breakup of Kyyria, Santeri joined Amorphis as a full-time member. Bassist Oppu was replaced by another ex-Kyyria member, Niclas Etelävuori, to tour with Amorphis on their third U.S. tour. [3]

The tenth-anniversary compilation Story was released.

Am Universum

Am Universum was released in 2001, and included more emphasis on keyboards and saxophone work, the latter contributed by Sakari Kukko. It was an experimental album and Amorphis' most psychedelic to date. [3]

Far from the Sun & Chapters

In 2002 the band contributed to the soundtrack for the movie Menolippu Mombasaan . The commissioned piece was a cover version of a 1976 Finnish pop hit "Kuusamo", and is currently the band's only song in their native language. [3] The same year they started to record the band's last album with Relapse Records, Far from the Sun. In 2003, Relapse released the retrospective Chapters , which included a DVD featuring the band's videos from "Black Winter Day" to "Alone". Far from the Sun was produced by the band itself, which had been rejoined by original drummer Jan Rechberger after Pekka Kasari had quit to concentrate on family duties. Pasi left the band in 2004 after nine years. [3]


While searching for a new vocalist Amorphis received over a hundred demo tapes from prospective vocalists but none of them became the new frontman of the band. Eventually Tomi Joutsen got an audition through word of mouth and he became their next singer in 2005. [3] Joutsen, best known for his work with metal band Sinisthra, [4] urged Amorphis to return to the use of contrasting vocal styles for their next album. [3] His first album with the band, Eclipse , was released in 2006. It was a critical and commercial success, hailed as a return to form by some critics, [5] [6] and achieving gold certification in Finland for the first time in their history. [7]

Just after Joutsen joined, Amorphis performed under name Amorjens ("aHello" in Finnish) to perform at least one gig in Finland. [8]

Silent Waters

Amorphis followed Eclipse with gigs and festival appearances throughout Europe, all the while writing new material for the follow-up. [3] They released their next album, Silent Waters , on September 3, 2007, achieving gold certification in Finland for the second time. [7] The album marked the first time in the history of the band that an album was recorded with the same personnel as the previous one. [3] In support of Silent Waters, Amorphis launched their third headlining tour in North America alongside supporting acts Samael and Virgin Black. [7]

Skyforger & Magic & Mayhem – Tales from the Early Years

Amorphis playing at Tuska 2009 Amorphis 20090627tuska1.jpg
Amorphis playing at Tuska 2009

In November 2008, Amorphis entered Sonic Pump Studios to begin recording their 9th album. [7] The result of those studio sessions, Skyforger , was released in Finland on May 27, 2009, [9] throughout Europe two days later, [9] and in the United States on June 16. [9] Initial presses of the album had mastering errors, which prompted Nuclear Blast to issue replacement CDs. [10] The album was certified gold in Finland on July 7, 2011, making it the third Amorphis album in a row to do so. [11]

On November 20, 2009, while touring in support of Skyforger, Amorphis filmed a show at Club Teatria in Oulu, Finland for their first-ever live DVD. [12] The show was released alongside another show from Summer Breeze Open Air 2009 and a documentary, titled Tales from the 20 Years, as a part of the CD/DVD set Forging the Land of Thousand Lakes on June 25, 2010. [12]

On September 15, 2010, Amorphis released Magic & Mayhem – Tales from the Early Years , a re-working of a dozen tracks from their first three albums with slightly different arrangements, better audio quality and featuring the band's current lineup, plus a cover of "Light my Fire" as a bonus track. During the tour that followed, the band briefly reunited with Pasi Koskinen and other past members (such as keyboard player Kim Rantala) on stage, to perform some of the older songs.

The Beginning of Times

Santeri Kallio at Metal Frenzy Festival 2017 in Gardelegen Amorphis Metal Frenzy 2017 01.jpg
Santeri Kallio at Metal Frenzy Festival 2017 in Gardelegen

On September 30, 2010, Nuclear Blast announced that Amorphis had started work on a new album. [13] On January 24, 2011, the band revealed that recording was almost finished, except for vocals which would be completed at the home of producer Marco Hietala. [14] The album The Beginning of Times was released on May 27, 2011 in Europe and June 7, 2011 in the US, and features cover art by longtime collaborator Travis Smith. [15]


On August 21, 2012, Amorphis announced on their website that a new album was in the works. [16] On January 17, 2013, the band announced the title and release date for their next record. Circle was released on April 19 in Europe and April 30 in North America. Tomi Joutsen said about the new album, "Circle represents integrity. Back in the days, when there was something special to talk about, wise men used to sit in circle. Not everyone was invited to join them. But in this story, the protagonist was invited among the wise men's circle." [17]

On September 16, 2013, Circle won Metal Hammer's "Album of the Year" award. Esa Holopainen said about the award, "For us, Album of the Year award is a great recognition for the work done so far. Especially when we got it from our 11th studio album." [16]

On August 4, 2014, Amorphis announced on their website and through social media that they would be playing a number of special Tales from the Thousand Lakes 20th anniversary shows where their 1994 album would be performed in its entirety. The shows included festivals such as Wacken Open Air, Maryland Deathfest, and 70000 Tons of Metal, with many other tour dates and festivals included. [16]

Under the Red Cloud

The band began demoing new songs at the start of 2015, and on 4 March it was announced that Amorphis would begin to record a new in album in April, at Fascination Street Studio, Örebro, Sweden with Jens Bogren, and with an album release date sometime in September 2015.

The lyrics would be written once again by Pekka Kainulainen, who says, "Like 'Kalevala', they are descriptions of natural phenomena, seasons and the human mind. Reoccuring situations where hope and uncertainty alternate. Attempting to gain advice from higher powers. The poems do not form a complete story per se, but they are drawn together by a certain theme. We live under a red cloud and once again, time weighs us."[ citation needed ]

The release of the new album was to be followed by a world tour, starting with shows in the band's home country of Finland, then other parts of Europe with Nightwish and Arch Enemy in November 2015. [18]

On 15 June 2015, the band announced the upcoming twelfth album titled Under the Red Cloud , with the artwork and track list revealed and with a release date of 4 September 2015. [19]

Queen Of Time

Singer Tomi Joutsen at Rockharz Open Air 2018 Amorphis Rockharz 2018 06.jpg
Singer Tomi Joutsen at Rockharz Open Air 2018

On February 22, 2018, Amorphis announced finishing the recording of their upcoming studio album titled Queen of Time which was scheduled for release on May 18, 2018, via Nuclear Blast Records. The album recording process featured the band's former bass player Olli-Pekka 'Oppu' Laine replacing Amorphis' longtime bassist Niclas Etelävuori who left in April 2017 after their North American tour due to disagreements with the band's management, making this the first time since Tales from the Thousand Lakes that all the original band members had played on an album together. [20] On March 23, 2018 the band released the first single, "The Bee," off the new record.

Musical style

Amorphis began as a death metal [21] and death-doom band, [22] and later incorporated other styles, as progressive metal, [21] [23] melodic death metal, [22] [24] [25] folk metal, [21] [25] and power metal. [21]





Studio albums

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<i>Tuonela</i> (album) 1999 studio album by Amorphis

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<i>Eclipse</i> (Amorphis album) 2006 studio album by Amorphis

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<i>Far from the Sun</i> 2003 studio album by Amorphis

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<i>Am Universum</i> 2001 studio album by Amorphis

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<i>Skyforger</i> (album) 2009 studio album by Amorphis

Skyforger is the ninth studio album by Finnish heavy metal band Amorphis. Like the previous album, the lyrics to Skyforger are English translations of Finnish poems based on the Kalevala and written by Pekka Kainulainen. Unlike the two previous albums, it is based on different parts of several episodes, but all told from a single character's point of view. In this sense it is a return to Tales from the Thousand Lakes which told stories from different parts of the Kalevala. The last two albums focused on Kullervo and Lemminkäinen, respectively, and this one focuses on Ilmarinen.

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<i>Magic & Mayhem – Tales from the Early Years</i> 2010 compilation album by Amorphis

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<i>Circle</i> (Amorphis album) 2013 studio album by Amorphis

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Amorphis discography discography

The discography of Amorphis, a Finnish heavy metal band, consists of thirteen studio albums, fifteen singles, three extended plays, and five compilation albums.

<i>Under the Red Cloud</i> 2015 studio album by Amorphis

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