Far from the Sun reviews
grimdoom on April 29th, 2016
Far from something but still good.
This was the last truly amorphous album by Amrophis. All their material after this sounds the same as they've seemingly become content to make the same album plus or minus the degree of heaviness, respectively, over and over.
True to their moniker and ever evolving sound, Amorphis quietly released the followup to 2001's 'Am Universum' with something completely different. This album is fairly far removed from the progressive darkwave ambiance of its predecessor with a return to a more straight forward hard rock sound. The bands modern trademarks, like the Deep Purple 70's styled keyboard's, are still in full swing here.
Still doom at its core, this modern Amorphis plugs along with mid-tempo tunes in the most up tempo and generally happy way. Something not typically heard from the Finish sextet.
This was an odd album after 'Am Universum's largely alien sound. It was and is a great album, but how do you followup with something so different? You do so by doing the exact opposite. This is a simplistic, non-layered rock album. It's very approachable. The tracks on here are clean enough in content and production to fit on any modern rock radio station and yet just stylized enough to still be considered vaguely underground.
Pasi's vocals are cleaner and generally more melodic than the previous records. The whisper tracks that littered 'Am Universum' are very present here too. The guitars are dirtier and louder in the mix. The bass and drums are more or less what we've come to expect. The keyboards too, however, they're not as overbearing.
The music, as stated above, is very happy, epic and adventurous. This is a good album to put on when taking a long road trip. Sadly, this isn't nearly as heavy as 'Eclipse', but the song writing itself is great.
This album wasn't pushed too hard by EMI either, and maybe that's why this album isn't as liked or well known. It's a great addition to the bands catalog and it has aged rather well. Like most of the bands early releases it's not something you can listen to once and decide you love or hate it. You'll need to listen to it a few times to really appreciate it.
OzzyApu on April 26th, 2013
Far From Good
This has got as much excitement as taking a big inhale and slowly exhaling it. It wants to be chill and laidback, but ends up sounding supremely uninspired as it churns out one rock tune after another. It's got the Amorphis twist of eastern influences and the proggy traits that's come to vary each song, but without the same spark that spawned hits like "Alone" and "Divinity". What the hell? Even Pasi's grainy singing has lost practically all the soul that it once had. Look no further than the album's single, "Evil Inside," and the completely banal, apathetic performance from the entire band - especially Pasi. This is and will always be a major disappointment in Amorphis' career.
Songs like the title track, "Mourning Soil," and "God Of Deception" are probably the only three songs on here that have something going for them. There's identity, variation, Esa's slick leads, groovy bass, and hooks with purpose. Each could have been written better than they are, but for Far From The Sun's status quo I think I'll take what I can get. These three are a few (relatively speaking) gems on a rock album that doesn't know how to rock. More importantly, it doesn't know how to be good. Keep things going with riffs, catchy leads, some appropriate drum fills (for fuck's sake, you guys got Rechberger back!), and some vigor. This album's got very few of any of that, and that includes the aforementioned good songs.
The band seemed to get caught up with sounding like a lounge-guided act. That completely leaves out the vast scope that made an album like Am Universum sound monolithic. Seriously, the production's good and all - fat bass, proper mixing, dry tone - but there's hardly any substance or lasting value. Most importantly, there's barely any atmosphere to it! As much as "Killing Goodness" sounds like Queens Of The Stone Age in the riffing, it's got no matching personality or essence to make it stand on its own. Nice leads, but that alone isn't the potency behind a great song. Then again, it's better than can be said about the rest of the songs on here.
Seriously, skip this album as if it never existed. Not hearing this album at all would mean missing nothing as far as the secrets of the god damn cosmos is concerned (a few nice leads here and there, but let's be real). In fact, believing that the band went from Am Universum to Eclipse would be the more rational thought process. The songwriting fell apart badly with this one, like with the "Day Of Your Beliefs" and "Higher Ground" sticking to cool harmonies but wrapping it in mediocrity. Just consider Pasi ending his run on a high note with Am Universum and the world will feel like a better place.
kluseba on August 10th, 2011
The greatness is in the bonus material
Far From The Sun is the weakest album in the strong discography of Amorphis. One can hear that singer Pasi Koskinen lacked passion and emotion and was about to split with the band. It's clear that the band didn't develop any further in the first time in their career and tried to create simply a softer version of the previous progressive metal masterpiece Am Universum. It is as if the band had decided to use filler material and song fragments from the last two recording sessions. The problem is that the tracks all sound quite similar and begin to bore after a while. As this record has a mellow sound and atmosphere, the album overall lacks of energy and can't truly be described as a metal album. This may not always be a bad thing but Amorphis sound really tired on this album.
They have also made a few strange choices. "Evil Inside" was chosen as a first single but it is one of the weakest tracks on the album and has no catchy moments at all. We also have a couple of mellow songs in the middle part of the record. "Ethereal Solitude" sounds for example like a weird and numb song written by some drug addicted progressive rock fans that have lost track of time, space and feeling. The song feels like a pointless jam and lacks of magic passages and stunning originality so that we can’t even categorize it as an authentic Krautrock experiment. This experiment lacks not only of focus but also of conviction and honesty.
The best tracks of the record can be found at the start and the end. "Day of your beliefs" is by far a better single choice than the weak and annoying "Evil Inside" and is probably the catchiest track on the record. The relaxed atmosphere and strong folk influences remind in a positive way of the "Elegy" and "Tuonela" era of the band. I prefer though the album highlight "Planetary Misfortune" that employs floating organ sounds and could have fit on the great Am Universum record. The album finishes on a strong note with the spacey "Higher Ground" which may be my second favourite track on here and the smooth "Smithereens" which is one of the most popular tracks from this album and still at least partially played at some concerts from time to time.
The whole album would have been a lot better though if the band had chosen to include their bonus tracks on the record. Each bonus song is better than the songs three to eight in the weak middle passage. "Darkrooms" for example would have been a perfect single and reminds in a positive way of catchy Finnish dark rock bands such as "HIM" or "The Rasmus" without losing the identity of weird sound experiments of the last Amorphis outputs. This track includes for example a fast paced organ melody and weird sound collages. This song could have been the highlight of the album. While "Shining Turns To Gray" resumes everything one likes about the last two Amorphis outputs in a perfect way, the band also heads for new styles and experiments. "Follow Me Into The Fire" is a doom metal track with a gripping piano melody and some stoner rock influences and "Dreams Of The Damned" is one of the most haunting and melancholic tracks that the band has ever written. Those four bonus tracks as an EP would be by far better than the entire initial album. The fact that the band chose those songs only as bonus tracks is a missed occasion and the worst decision they have ever made. I really suggest any fan to get the American edition of this album or the new release of the record that is also available in Europe now. It may push this album a little bit and make it feel better. Those songs really prove that Amorphis have always developed and tried out new stuff. While the main album mostly sounds like filler material from the last records, the bonus tracks sound like nothing the band has ever done before. Let's add that even the acoustic version of the original title track is better and more gripping than the mellow original song.
If I had to give a rating to the original short album, I would maybe not even give seventy percent to the weakest record of one of my favourite bands. On the other hand, the album would deserve at least eighty percent or even slightly more with the bonus tracks. As both editions exist and are official, I chose the approximate middle of the two possible ratings as my final verdict and want to underline the greatness of the bonus material.
autothrall on January 5th, 2010
Numbing and uninspiring...i.e. 'The Pits'
Going into the release of Far from the Sun, the 6th album from Finland's favored sons Amorphis, I had nothing but jubilant expectations, having enjoyed their past two albums (and worshiped everything before that). It was with great disappointment that the album I purchased was essentially an Amorphis stripped of all its better qualities. The style may feel quite the same as you heard on Am Universum, hard driving folk rock with clean vocals and swerving, psychedelic guitars, but there is barely a damn lick here worth its weight in sadness or hallucinogenic bliss. This album sounds almost as if the band had given up and phoned in an effort which bore enough surface similarities to its predecessor that the label would shovel it out with nary an edit or complaint.
I kid you not, I can think of only track song on this album that I actually enjoy, and only because it evokes memories of prior songs. The riffs here are so basic and familiar that the band could not have taken more than a few minutes to compose them, layer in just enough atmosphere that they become Amorphis by default, and head down for a round of drinks as the next tour was planned, or whatever else they were busy with rather than writing good music. If someone told me this was a session of outtakes that were considered too boring to include on Am Universum, I would believe it (with the single exception). Jan Rechberger returned to the drum kit here, and it was also noticeable for being the last album with Pasi Koskinen on vocals (and though the split was amicable, you can hear why Pasi would lose a little motivation).
Reaching back to describe the music here is the pinnacle of torment, because while I can't really say anything here is terrible, or 'sucks', it's mediocre enough that I can summon only venom. What's worse, the album has become even less interesting in the years since, as the spark and novelty of simply having a new Amorphis album has rubbed off in the weather of a billion better albums (including everything this band has released since). Far from the Sun is the 'pits' of Amorphis, the album I simply don't ever want to spin in my stereo again, stealing its sole positive number and smacking it on the Am Universum instead. I remember a lack of worldwide distribution this album suffered for its released, but in retrospect that only helped fan the inevitable flames that were headed in its direction.
"Day of Your Beliefs" was the first single to the album, a dull track which squanders its chance at lavish folk atmosphere through an unmemorable notation. The primary melody plays out like a slowed shanty melody with all the vital roguish energy leeched from it. "Planetary Misfortune" is the sole quality song here that I had mentioned, a charger that functions fully because of its mystic folk rhythm (reminds me of "Greed", but faster) and the somber doom riff in the sing song chorus at 1:00 is a nice line. But after this song, I warn you...it's a fucking desert. "Evil Inside" is a plodding, downtrodden blues rock song with nothing going for it. "Mourning Soil" tries to grasp at the mystique of the prior album's somber sojourns, falling flat. "Far from the Sun" is gentle enough for gathering firewood for your mountain cabin, and watching a leaf flow by on the stream, but nothing more. The latter half is even more boring, with moody forgettables ala "Ethereal Solitude" and "Smithereens", or the half-assed stoner boogie shuffle of "Killing Goodness".
Despite the drawn out agony of its lackluster composition, Far from the Sun did mark a pretty critical turning point for the band. When Pasi left, they got a decent replacement and began to steer slowly back towards their roots. While they still haven't gotten that far, at least the band has made the decision to abandon the barren grazing grounds that Far from the Sun represents; a creative wasteland which desperately craves 'the icy water' of better days.
Highlights: Planetary Misfortune
Razakel on June 12th, 2009
Far From the Sun is Amorphis’ last full length album with Pasi Koskinen as their vocalist and, in that sense, it’s an end of an era, and also a bit of an anticlimax. While this certainly isn’t a bad album, it’s not as original or imaginative as their past few releases. It sort of sounds like a band whose creativity is slowly starting to wind down as they become a bit tired of what they are doing.
There are several exceptional moments on Far From the Sun, which actually make it somewhat frustrating to listen to because it’s clear that the potential was there for this to be a masterpiece. The opening track, Day of Your Beliefs, for example, is an incredibly strong track. It opens with a melodic intro with folk aspects reminiscent of the Elegy days, before thundering into a very catchy, very energetic rock anthem that sounds like a highlight off of Am Universum. It’s too bad that Amorphis blew their load too quickly on this one, because nothing else is able to compare to the opener. Still, there are interesting moments to be found. Planetary Misfortune has a great chorus and a very nice interlude with some strange, yet captivating middle eastern instruments. Evil Inside was the single off of this one, but I must say it doesn’t really do much for me. It’s undoubtedly catchy, but it just comes off as a very standard rock single with nothing really there that Amorphis have made their own. The title track, a very nice relaxing ballad, succeeds in bringing some diverse and appealing flavour to the overall mix.
Diversity is really what saves this album from being boring. Some songs aren’t as interesting as others, but at least they are different sounding enough to avoid repetition; a plague that claims too many albums with potential. Because all of the instruments are performed well, none really stand out, to me at least. The piano is a highlight at times, such as on the closer, Smithereens. One thing that did somewhat disappoint me was Pasi. I love his vocal style, but he didn’t really click this time around. He sounds a bit tired and uninspired; certainly not performing with the same passion he did on the three previous albums he recorded with this band. Still, his lack of enthusiasm isn’t too detrimental to the overall sound.
Far From the Sun is not as strong as most Amorphis releases, but Amorphis have never released a poor album. It’s fairly more subdued than past albums, but definitely enjoyable and worth listening to. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of Amorphis’ mid-era, or anyone looking for a good, diverse rock album in general.
Axonn on June 21st, 2007
Far From The Sun, Far From Their Roots
While not quite as convincing as the two previous releases (Tuonela and Am Universum), Far From The Sun is far from disappointing. While the two previous major releases show the band experimenting with various sounds and musical arrangements, Far From The Sun strips away a few of those elements and leaves more place to breathe for more traditional musicianship. This more conventional approach has its advantages: the guitars and music seems a bit clearer and easier to… digest. Unfortunately, it misses a certain “something” which made Amorphis who they are in the first place. Dare-say, the album seems a bit… bored. Not boring. But bored. It seems like they’ve lost their direction somehow and are a bit confused about what to do. This hypothesis is encouraged by the fact that this is the last Amorphis album with Pasi Koskinen handling vocal duties (their 2006 full length features Tomi Joutsen on that side).
Well, regardless, this is definitely a good album. Definitely. It took me some time to start feeling into it, associating the music with a song title, but it happened after a few listens. “God Of Deception”, “Far From The Sun”, “Smithereens” and “Evil Inside” are clear highlights, but none of the other songs are unworthy of listening. It isn’t an album where I would skip a song in the playlist. If it’s worth buying, yes, it is. But if you want only one or two disks from Amorphis, I would stick with Eclipse and Elegy or Tuonela.
I think the title of the album is quite well chosen. There are no screams during the 44 minutes of music (same as with Am Universum) and it seems even softer than anything Amorphis did in the past. This is the furthest step Amorphis has ever taken from their roots and I think they were aware of this when they named the album. And in this line of thought, maybe we can suppose that they were quite ok with this direction, as the lyrics of Far From The Sun (the song) say… “I walk away now from you, and your sun, it goes down from you, as I walk, away now from you, far, from your Sun”. There’s a feeling of careless relaxation in the album and even confused as they may have been, I’m sure they enjoyed creating this release, regardless of how down-tempo it might seem. Even so, listening to Far From The Sun is a very nice experience, especially with the volume pumped up high. A good and talented band will sound great even in their lower points of their career.
Cravinov13 on May 3rd, 2007
Amorphis is a well renowned underground death metal band from Finland that started in 1990. As of more recent years, Amorphis went into a more mainstream stage of music (before recently returning to their death metal roots with new singer Tomi Joutsen. Their album Far From the Sun is too Amorphis as the near classic album Damnation is to Opeth. Fueled with almost 100 percent clean vocals and heavy metal elements mixed with hard rock melodies, Far From the Sun is still a great album for any heavy metal user (though may be somewhat of a disappointment to die hard old Amorphis fans). Amorphis is well known for their lyrics and musical style that both dwell in the concept of the popular Finnish national epic, the Kalevala (like the way Nile dwells in the concept of Egyptian mythology). This album was recorded with Amorphis' original singer Pasi Koskinen.
Day Of Your Beliefs starts off the album with an ascending melody of guitar work before jumping into a catchy rock riff that brings to mind something from the Arabian Nights. The vocals come in and add a unique sound to the already unique melody of the track. The vocalist reminds me of Jonas Renkse of Katatonia mixed with a punk singer in this song (along with most of the songs on the album). A great opening track, with a great guitar solo, epical sounds and powerful breakdowns along with a catchy chorus. Planetary Misfortune is another great track with powerful Arabian Night sounding guitar riffs and melodies. The vocals are a lot more raspy sounding in this song then the last track, but fit better with the heavy wall of metal fueled hard rock riffs. Not as catchy as the previous song, but has avery unique groove to it that is hard to forget.
The most popular song on the album, Evil Inside, sounds like what you would get if you mixed Opeth with a band like Nickelback, only the outcome is a lot better then you would expect it to be. The song has a great guitar melody and bass groove and some very well executed vocals that deliver another catchy tune in the listener's ear. The song also has a guitar solo that, frankly, pwns anything Nickelback could ever hope to accomplish. Mourning Soul begins with a very mystic sounding ambiance that creates a soft atmosphere, and when the drums and guitar come in with a soft bas groove, it becomes apparent that the song is going to be somewhat of a softy compared to the other tracks so far. The track is the first song on the album that fails to impress me in any form outside the cool keyboard/ ambient intro.
The album titled track, Far From the Sun, begins with a very quick guitar melody into before going into some sweeping guitar riffs and melodic vocals. The song is sort of a softer track, like the previous, only slightly better, though nothing of major impressment. The guitar work and breakdowns n the song give it a much stronger atmosphere then the last track did in it's clean melody. Etheral Solitude finally brings back some of the metal into the music again. After an atmospheric ascending intro, the song goes into a mellow groove a drum beat, and after some vocals that make them sound like they're trying to imitate the Smashing Pumpkins, the guitars go into a heavy wall of soft riffs that are at least heavy enough to be called metal.
Killing Goodness starts with a very groove driven guitar riff before jumping into a heavy hard rock fueled metal number that redeems from the last several tracks. The track is a lot faster then the last few and has some great guitar solos and catchy riffs, though rather poor lyrics. Not the best song on the album, but definitely a redemption from the increasing softness of the last couple of tracks. God Of Deception begins with an ambient keyboard intro and soft, soothing vocals followed by a heavy drum line. The song then ascends into a great hard rock tune with catchy grooves and keyboard background that doesn't fail to impress. The song also has some more great guitar solos that manage to slice through the heavy riffs.
Higher Ground is another epical feeling track with ascending keyboard, acoustic guitar, and ambient riffs, building up into a very strong atmosphere. Electric guitars kick in with a catchy groove before bursting into a heavy wall of almost doom metalish guitar riffs. The song then has a breakdown into melodious vocal bridge before going into more upbeat heavy guitar riffs and hard rock vocals. The song is the longest track on the album (only 5 and a half minutes), but has the most epical feel to it, and is a big standout on the album. Smithereens begins with guitar and keyboard melodious working to make a rather apocalyptic, in some manner, atmosphere, before silencing into a vocal solo with quiet riffs in the back ground. Another ballad like track, but a lot stronger then the other poorly made 'ballads' on the album, with better guitar solos and catchy choruses.
The next track, Shining Turns To Grey, is probably the most straight foreword hard rock track on the album. With little breakdown time until the end, constantly delivering upbeat heavy riffs. The song still manages to end of a soft and melodic note. Follow Me Into The Fire is another heavy, metal fueled groove song. The song has some great musicianship, though the vocals get a tad boring on the song. The music makes up though, with great guitar and bass melodies, heavy riffs, and strong drum work. Not one of the best songs, but has a musical dominance over most of the other tracks. Darkrooms is much like its previous two tracks in it's heavy hard rock power grooves and riffs. Again the vocals are kinda boring, but the powerful musicianship overall saves the track from utter failure. Nothing else really new with this song.
Dreams Of The Damned may not be the best ballad track on the album, but it does have one of the best intros and guitar melodies over the entire album. With a powerful ascending intro and dynamic ending, the song is a perfect closer for the album. Even the vocals make a come back as far as not being mono and boring like a lot of the other tracks. The official last track on the album is an acoustic version of the song Far From the Sun, which is no different then the original, only played with acoustic guitars (of course). Thus ending this above average album of hard rock fueled metal made from death metal minds. I still think Amorphis should stick with the old school death doom that they used to do.
THIS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR SPUTNIKMUSIC.COM
arkbath on March 31st, 2005
Better than the last one...
Amorphis is back after the little deception of Am Universum. With this new album the band seems to go back to the Elegy era, not as good as that album, but good enough to attract their new and old fans again. It’s true that Amorphis now is more a hard rock band instead of a metal band, but within this “retro sound” there are some elements that still make them interesting. As I mentioned, their compositions have the essence of old bands like Deep Purple (just listen to the keyboards and some guitar riffs) but also use (or abuse) of some folk sounds that give some kind of magic to their music.
The opening track, Day of Your Beliefs, is great, maybe too simple but the main riff and the tunes are so memorable. Evil Inside is the perfect example to experience the “retro sound” I’m talking about. Maybe my favorite from the album, Far From the Sun, a strange ballad I must say, but it reminds me of My Kantele (even there is an acoustic version, just as happened with the fabulous song from Elegy). Another highlight is Killing Goodness, heavy, too rhythmic and with a lot of old keyboard style. The special mention for this album goes for Higher Ground, just because the oriental stuff in the intro and throughout the whole song. This song deserves special attention.
Amorphis is a strange band with a strange sound, but that’s what makes them special and great. I must say that I don’t know what to think about Pasi Koskinen’s departure. Maybe he isn’t a great singer, but he is part of the trademark of the band, and without him no one knows what to expect… until we listen to their forthcoming album, but that’s what happens with Amorphis… no one knows what to expect until you listen to the album.
Tale_of_the_Hellship on March 13th, 2005
Amorphis isn't Pink Floyd
Well, I normally am a very open-minded listener, and I just don't care about what other people say about this album or that band; I'd rather listen to it myself. And such thing happened with Far From The Sun. I already owned Tales From The Thousand Lakes and Elegy and I love them both, so even with all the bashing that the three following Amorphis releases were taking, I decided to buy this one thinking "Can't be THAT bad coming from such a good band..."
This isn't metal anymore. It's alternative rock. Note that I haven't anything against alternative rock: Elegy also had it's alt-rock moments and I still love it. No, the problem here is that this is a crappy alt-rock album. Amorphis have lost their touch: there are very few good songs and even those have very few rock/metal ingredients. The title track, Day of Your Beliefs and Killing Goodness are among those few; they have a certain 70's rock feeling to them that makes them kind of attractive. Ethereal Solitude is also an enjoyable ballad. The other songs? Don't even bother. It's all keyboard-laden techno crap. The guitar riffs and leads are barely listeneable underneat the idiotic trying-to-sound-prog-rock electronic effects and keyboards. Tomi doesn't growl anymore; Pasi has taken over all vocal duties, and while in Elegy he did a decent job, he sings like a little baby in here. It's really sad to see a band that was once so great fall now in disgrace. They aren't even trying to be above the average indie-rock bands: they are just being derivative and, ultimately, boring. Disappointing.
makaze on September 14th, 2004
No, this is not a comeback
Amorphis, once a great name of finnish doom metal scene, started to bleak in a last few years. After masterpiece named "Tales From The Thousand Lakes" and "Elegy", weird and bad experiments started to come out under the name of this band, going far away from the doom metal, even the metal itself. There were no more growl vocals, only cleans, guitars in background and more and more rock influences came up to front. It's really awful to see one amazing band disappear and go into commercial metal/rock scene. But, I must confess, new album "Far From The Sun" put me in some kind of dilemma. First of all, it's obviousAmorphis went back to folk melodies (present on "Elegy"-era) and more guitar-oriented style, but still you can feel the lack of the metal atmosphere. Commercial rock influences are still present and are getting listeners off the complete joy. "Day of Your Beliefs" and "Planetary Misfortune" are very good, comeback songs, reminding me of already mentioned "Elegy". Title track "Far From The Sun", and "Higher Ground" are worth to mention, but everything else sounds too weak. Vocals are sometimes good, but sometimes so bad and so boring. Like the vocalist had been kicked into the balls, so he could only do some annoying sounds. But... this is a dilemma.. coz there are few songs that really sound like Amorphis, but at the same time, half of the album is really bad. Maybe this is a step to the roots and towards more doom metal oriented music, but on the other hand, maybe Amorphis are just using the stuff that has been selling good, to sell one more album good as well. Time will tell, after all...
Far from the Sun track list
|1||Day of Your Beliefs||05:03|
|5||Far from the Sun||04:00|
|8||God of Deception||03:39|
Far from the Sun lineup
|Pasi Koskinen||Vocals, Lyrics|
|Esa Holopainen||Guitars (lead)|
|Tomi Koivusaari||Guitars (rhythm)|