Taken from http://www.iwn.fi/~mikkok/Amorphis/
Taking their name from the word "amorphous" meaning 'no determinate form or shape', Finland's most
creative and acclaimed metal band have certainly lived up to their name along the course of their six year
history. With a vast set of musical influences amongst their membership, Amorphis have taken large
strides with each consecutive album and have reached their most ambitious plateau yet. Boasting a sound
more aligned with '70s progressive rock bands than modern day metal acts, Amorphis aren't afraid to let
go of their past and fly into uncharted territories inspired by their Finnish heritage. The band have always
stood against the trends of the day and forged their own unique style amongst hordes of sound-alikes and
Formed around the duo of guitarist/creative center Esa Holopainen and drummer Jan Rechberger, the two
quickly picked up vocalist/guitarist Tomi Koivusaari. Bassist 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 and immediately recorded six songs, two of
which were released as a limited edition 7" EP. Amorphis capitalized on their solid underground following
built on the strength of their demo and the 7" - by recording their debut full-length The Karelian Isthmus.
Named after an historic Finnish battlefield, The Karelian Isthmus blasted forth with majestically moving
atmospheric death metal featuring jagged doom riffs, vocal cries of misery and ethereal synthetizers to
complement their new adventurous sound. Before work began on their next album, Relapse Records
released the entire early demo recording session as 1993's Privilege of Evil.
In 1994, Amorphis ventured even further into their keyboard-oriented progressive death metal sound and
celebrated their rich Finnish history within the music. The band once again recorded in Sunlight Studios
and emerged with one of 1994's finest masterpieces of metal, the critically-acclaimed Tales From The
Thousand Lakes. Incorporating lyrics from the finnish national pole book, The Kalevala, Amorphis fused
elements of traditional heavy metal, doom, death metal and '70s progressive rock to craft an album that
stunned not only the band's own followers, but the entire metal underground. Amorphis toured the
European continent several times and, in late '94, visited american shores for the first time. Due to the
keyboardist's inability to meet tour commitments, new keyboardist (and now an integral member) Kim
Rantala was brought in to solidify the line-up. 1995 brought yet another chapter in Amorphis history with
the Black Winter Day EP featuring the title track and three unreleased tracks from the Tales... sessions.
The EP held hungry fans over temporarily while the band took a very short rest before writing and
recording their third full-length epic...
Where their prior work astounded, this time Amorphis transcended all expectations with Elegy, an
eleven-song journey into lush keyboard atmospheres, psychedelic guitar tones and an array of vocal
deliveries, summoned by both Tomi and the now-permanent "clean" vocalist Pasi Koskinen. Elegy also
features the rock-solid work of new drummer Pekka Kasari, who filled out the six-piece Amorphis
line-up. Elegy featured lyrical inspirations from another legendary piece of Finnish literature, The
Kanteletar, a book comprised of nearly 700 poems and ballads based on old Finnish traditions. The poems
have been passed on by word of mouth from generation to generation, with some of the poems being
literally thousands of years old. The Kanteletar is based on everyday life, including the Finnish people's
philosophical and religious beliefs, and Amorphis created a spellbinding work of progressive rock/metal
anthems based on the book's legend and lore. With vivid cover artwork incorporating ancient Finnish
symbols, Elegy traversed many musical paths and conjures a variety of moods, from the upflitting ode of
My Kantele to the crushingly dismal sentiment of Better Unborn.
1997 brings forth My Kantele, a mini-extension of the monumental Elegy, featuring the acoustic reprise of
My Kantele, as well as the all-new two pare epic The Brother-Slayer. The awe-inspiring lead
guitar-keyboard interplay of Esa and Kim mines the progressive and melodic veins brought to light within
Elegy. Amazing interpretations of Kingston Wall's And I Hear You Call and Levitation by space rock
mavens Hawkwind complete My Kantele, and thus turn another page in the ongoing saga of Amorphis...