AMORPHIS — who stands among Northern Europe’s leading dark metal acts, hitting #1 on the Finnish charts five times — has been captivating fans and critics for over thirty years with their melancholic, yet heavy soundscapes. After announcing their upcoming fourteenth studio album, Halo, set for release onon February 11th, 2022 through Atomic Fire Records last month, the sextet presents the world with the record’s first single, “The Moon.”
Comments lyricist Pekka Kainulainen, “I have done several drawings and paintings on this subject over the years. Now I complementary wrote some heavy metal lyrics… This is a song of love.”
Adds guitarist Esa Holopainen, “It’s a very atmospheric and catchy song that represents what AMORPHIS sound like in 2021 well.”
View AMORPHIS’ “The Moon” video, created by renowned director Patric Ullaeus (rEvolver Film), at THIS LOCATION.
Once again adorned by artwork provided by Valnoir (Alcest, Paradise Lost etc.), Halo was recorded, produced, and mixed Jens Bogren (Fascination Street Studios) while mastering duties were handled by Tony Lindgren.
Halo will be available as a CD digipak, 2xLP gatefold in multiple exclusive color variants, box set (includes 2xLP in multiple color variants, exclusive Live In Europe 2018-2019 bonus CD, flag, slipmat, and button), and cassette.
Preorder the album physically, pre-save it, or preorder it digitally to receive “The Moon” instantly now at THIS LOCATION.
Halo Track Listing:
- On The Dark Waters
- The Moon
- A New Land
- When The Gods Came
- Seven Roads Come Together
- The Wolf
- My Name Is Night
Rock and metal music have always been a haven for those who have bigger stories to tell; who have grander emotions to convey. For more than thirty years, Finnish figureheads AMORPHIS have done their best to carve their very own niche in heartfelt yet aggressive, melancholic yet soothing tunes. On Halo, their staggering fourteenth studio effort, the Finns underline their trailblazing status as one of the most original, culturally relevant and rewarding acts ever to emerge from the land of the thousand lakes.
In the past, mythology and legend took the role of today’s pop culture: Stories and a set of values uniting us by giving us a voice and a tapestry on which we can find each other and identify with something. By weaving the tales of Finnish national epos Kalevala into their songs and interpreting them in a timeless way, AMORPHIS combines the role of ancient minstrels and luminaries of the modern world, honoring tradition without getting stuck in the past.
The vibrant, lively, and touching beauty that is Halo highlights their musical and storytelling mastership on a once again soaring level: It’s a progressive, melodic, and quintessentially melancholic heavy metal masterwork plucked from the fickle void of inspiration by original guitarists Esa Holopainen and Tomi Koivusaari, bassist Olli-Pekka Laine, drummer Jan Rechberger, longtime keyboardist Santeri Kallio, vocalist Tomi Joutsen, the band’s long-standing lyrical consciousness, Pekka Kainulainen, and a selected group of world class audio professionals led by renowned Swedish producer Jens Bogren. Considering the band’s prolonged journey in the forefront of innovative metal music, it’s difficult to grasp how AMORPHIS manages to raise the proverbial bar time and time again, presenting a more than worthy finale to the trilogy begun with 2015’s Under The Red Cloud followed by 2018’s Queen Of Time.
“It really is a great feeling that we can still produce very decent music as a band,” says Holopainen, a founding member of the band. “Perhaps a certain kind of self-criticism and long experience culminate in these latest albums.” To the songwriter himself, Halo sounds both familiar and different. “It is thoroughly recognizable AMORPHIS from beginning to end but the general atmosphere is a little bit heavier and more progressive and also organic compared to its predecessor,” he elaborates.
Tomi Joutsen, the man with vocal cords capable of unleashing colossal, bear-like growls as well as singing soothing, mesmerizing lullabies, adds, “To me, Halo sounds a little more stripped down compared to Queen Of Time and Under The Red Cloud. However, don’t get me wrong: when a certain song needs to sound big, then it sounds very big.” He’s right, of course: By stripping down some of the arrangements, the monumental moments become even more monumental.
That’s of course also thanks to producing renaissance man Jens Bogren who harvested the eleven final tracks from a batch of thirty songs AMORPHIS offered him. “Jens is very demanding, but I really like to work with him,” says Holopainen. “He takes care of the whole project from start to finish, and he allows the musician to focus on just playing. I may not be able to thank Jens enough. Everything we’ve done together has been really great, and this cooperation has carried AMORPHIS significantly forward.”
Indeed. Setting off with the stormy grandeur of opener “Northwards,” AMORPHIS takes us on an epic journey through the lands of the north, their rich cultural and historical heritage, and musical traditions. This is not only an album for fans or metal connoisseurs. It’s a must for every imaginative mind out there with a soft spot for cinematic soundscapes, triumphant melodies and breathtaking dynamics measuring the borderlands of light and dark.
However, no AMORPHIS album would be complete without the imaginative and poetic storytelling of renowned lyricist and Kalevala expert Pekka Kainulainen. “From day one, Pekka has always been an enthusiastic and prolific lyricist for AMORPHIS,” says Joutsen. “It is a slow process of translating archaic Finnish poetry into English and adapting it our progressive rhythms. Fortunately, Pekka does everything on time and with great care.” Since 2007’s Silent Waters, Kainulainen has been navigating the mythological waters of his homeland with great skill and respect. For Halo, he outdid himself once again. “Halo is a loose themed record filled with adventurous tales about the mythical North tens of thousands of years ago,” he explains. “The lyrics tell of an ancient time when man wandered to these abandoned boreal frontiers after the ice age. While describing the revival of a seminal culture in a world of new opportunities, I also try to reach the sempiternal forces of the human mind.”
Thirty-one years after their inception, with uncounted global tours under their belt and fourteen albums deep in their career, AMORPHIS still proves to be the musical fountain of youth, an extraordinary band constantly reinventing itself without abandoning its mystical roots. With Halo, they deliver an astonishing album that deserves to be played everywhere, transcending the realms of metal and rock by its sheer profoundness and musicality.
12/04/2021 John Smith Rock Frozen – Jyväskylä, FI
3/01/2022 GlavClub – Moscow, RU
3/02/2022 Cosmonavt – St. Petersburg, RU
6/04/2022 Rockfest – Hyvinkää, FI
6/18/2022 Z7 Wild Dayz – Pratteln, CH
6/19/2022 Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel, BE
6/24-25/2022 Rock Imperium Festival – Cartagena, ES
7/1-3/2022 Tuska – Helsinki, FI
7/08/2022 Wolf Fest – Chelopech, BG
7/07-10/2022 Masters of Rock – Vizovice, CZ
8/05/2022 Porispere – Pori, FI
8/06/2022 Himos Metal Festival – Jämsä, FI
8/17 – 20/2022 Summer Breeze Open Air – Dinkelsbühl, DE
Tomi Joutsen – vocals
Esa Holopainen – guitars
Tomi Koivusaari – guitars
Santeri Kallio – keyboards
Olli-Pekka Laine – bass
Jan Rechberger – drums