Music Reviews

Amorphis

Am Universum

Relapse

So far, word on the street regarding Am Universum is pretty evenly divided. One camp maintains that Amorphis’ fifth and latest album is yet another sellout (the first being 1999’s Tuonela or, in the minds of some ignorant dolts, the preceding Elegy) for the once-mighty band, the Finnish sextet hollowly looking to appeal to Kenny G and Chicago fans alike • due to the never-shy use of saxophone here, go figure • as one smarmy critic was quick to observe (believe it was someone in Eclipse); the other, that it’s a heartily rockin’ slab of accessible epicness for the still-mighty Amorphis. Me, I’m with the latter camp • namely, because Amorphis have pushed their sterling sound further in the past decade than anyone would’ve imagined. How far, you ask? Basically, from doom-ended death metal (their The Karelian Isthmus debut) to now this, a pristinely swirling panorama that’s somewhere’s between Deep Purple and Kansas in the most flattering of senses, yet somehow more modernized, and above all, still Amorphis (the salient point here, folks). Consequently, they’ve inspired many a previously death-entrenched band (Cemetary, Katatonia, and Samael quickly spring to mind) to sail on into vastly cleaner waters • for better or worse, such is the eternal debate, and one equally too vast to tackle here. But for as slack as dwelling on these past advances may seem, that’s precisely the point with Am Universum and why it makes the album such a great • or, at the very least, enjoyable • listen. Any way you cut it, at nearly 50 penetrating minutes, Am Universum is a dry-iced stadium-goth gallop (truly, it is • dig those roiling tribal rhythms, especially on album standout “Goddess [of the Sad Man]”) into tear-stained dusk, frontman Pasi Koskinen delivering his most engaging, poignant, just plain tone-perfect performance yet, altogether making this latest opus the logical follow-through of Tuonela’s loftily epic goals, and actually bettering it in most cases. Difficult to fathom? Hardly: These Finns’ track record thus far is unbeatable, and most likely will remain that way regardless of future directions taken. A majestic future ahead for Amorphis, then? A resounding yes, and then some.

Relapse, PO Box 2060, Upper Darby, PA 19082; http://www.relapse.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Porn and Ice Cream

Porn and Ice Cream

Screen Reviews

Three aimless misfits find themselves a purpose when they unwittingly start a band. It’s not your typical rock story, as Ian Koss explains.

Fire and Iceland

Fire and Iceland

Interviews

New York filmmaker April Anderson talks with Bob Pomeroy about volcanoes, horses, and making documentaries in Iceland.

Best of Film 2022

Best of Film 2022

Screen Reviews

With a year of festival and microcinema screenings behind them, Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite films, six supplemental features, and one exceptional repertory release of 2022.

Laura Citarella

Laura Citarella

Interviews

Director Laura Citarella, of the famed filmmaking collective El Pampero Cine, has created with her newest feature Trenque Lauquen a provocative transformation of her protagonist Laura (Laura Parades), whom Citarella first introduced in her 2011 film Ostende. Lily and Generoso enjoyed an in-depth conversation with Citarella about Trenque Lauquen when it screened at AFI Fest 2022.

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

New Music Now 009: Sleepyhead

Features

Join us for a new edition of New Music Now, with our special musical guest, Sleepyhead. All three members of the band are school teachers, so you didn’t hear it from us, but there might be a pop quiz about their album New Alchemy after the show.

Joana Pimenta

Joana Pimenta

Interviews

Back in 2018, Lily and Generoso selected Adirley Queirós’s Once There Was Brasilia as a top ten film. That feature’s cinematographer, Joana Pimenta, has now co-directed with Queirós one of the most expansive political films we’ve seen this year, Dry Ground Burning. Lily and Generoso interviewed Pimenta at AFI Fest earlier this month.

%d bloggers like this: