Released in February 15, 2006, Amorphis’ Eclipse is the seventh album in the band’s discography, and the first one with singer Toni Joutsen. The album has been certified Gold in Finland after selling more than 15,000 copies during an era when digital music started to become rampant. The album is classified by some as folk metal, but it also has elements of melodic death metal with soaring clean vocals from Joutsen.
I first listened to Amorphis in 2005. I checked out Tales from the Thousand Lakes and Elegy and was instantly entranced, blown away by their folky melodic death metal style that was as brutal as it was sparkly.
Around the same time, I checked out Am Universum and Tuonela, equally in marvel over their middle era, which featured a melodic style of metal that had strange elements I had never seen before. It was more alternative and even accessible, but still featured harsh vocals at times.
It wasn’t until the 2006 Eclipse record came out that I fell in love with this band though. The record soared the band to new heights with new vocalist Joutsen, who has an impressive vocal range and an eagle-like voice that spells freedom and strength.
The album kicks off with Two Moons, which has a marvelous keyboard intro that takes you right to the rest of the instrumentation. The song is melodic and fast-paced, reminiscent of the experimentation that Chuck Schuldiner did in Death but with synths that Deep Purple would be proud of.
The second song is the hit single House of Sleep, which is a beautiful tune that launched the new period of Amorphis. We hear about the dreams of Joutsen and the crushing vocals that yelp “I will make you sleep!” In a powerful chorus that cemented the band as one of the true folk metal masters of the 21st century.
Leaves Scar is another brutal song that has acoustic elements, whereas Born From Fire is as catchy as it is heavy. Under a Soil and Black Stone is one of the many gorgeous ballads that Amorphis has written in the Joutsen era, with lyrics taken from the mystic nature of the Kalevala, Finland’s national epic poem.
Perkele (The God of Fire) is yet another memorable song that is catchy and powerful, further restating the vocal range that we’ve gotten to know from Joutsen that goes from harsh to clean on a dime.
The Smoke was another single in the album, and it’s possibly one of the greatest songs Amorphis has ever written. The idea of smoke following someone in their dream and taking them to an unknown world of endless possibilities is beautiful, and Amorphis’ execution is subtle in this song.
Same Flesh is an anthem to the people of Finland that all bleed the same melodies and words from the Kalevala. Brother Moon is perhaps my favorite song of the album, featuring a great acoustic riff with lyrics that take us to the celestial skies and personifies the moon.
Empty Opening is a great album closer that delves into how wicked this world can be, and despite all the beautiful things we witness, darkness still exists. Finally, Stone Woman is a great bonus track from the band that has more fantastic bonus tracks than anyone else, entering the realm of love and how tricky of a thing it can be.
All in all, this is one of the greatest albums I’ve ever heard and I absolutely love it to this day. I give it a 9.5/10 and I urge you to listen to it if you have a chance.