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Am Universum

Amorphis (Relapse)
26 Mar 2001 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Buy the CD album for £26.26 and get the MP3 version for FREE. Does not apply to gift orders.
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 26 Mar 2001
  • Label: Nuclear Blast
  • Copyright: 2001 Nuclear Blast GmbH
  • Total Length: 49:42
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001N15K9G
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 519,879 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Minchin VINE VOICE on 20 July 2004
Format: Audio CD
Amorphis is an apt name. A corruption of the word amorphous, few bands have changed sound as often, and with such an impact as this Finnish sextet. Whilst their early work was straight-up grind, with their second full album "Tales From The Thousand Lakes" they incorporated folky melodies and clean operatic vocals into the mix, a trend which continued and expanded on the 1996 opus "Elegy".
Two albums later, and amorphis are now a fully fledged folk/jazz/metal/rock maelstrom. Continuing the trend started on "Tuonela" towards a more progressive sound, and with a total lack of death grunting this time round, gone are the riff'n'lead structures of yore, instead being replaced with textural guitar work from genius guitar guru Esa Holopainen. The keyboard work spirals wildly, veering between atmospheric and jazzy, with the now obligatory hammond organ sounding totally natural amid the sonic swirl. A wide variety of guest musicians can be heard here too, with the sax also playing a prominent role, nowhere more so than in the blinding "Crimson Wave".
Special mention must be made of Pasi Koskinen's vocals and lyricism. This guy has an incredible voice, and anyone complaining because he's not grunting anymore is somewhat missing the point. Evocative and poetic lyrics impart a really strong personality to the songs while still sounding totally fresh.
This is one of those rare albums that defies categorisation, and must be appreciated as an organic whole. There are no standout tracks because every one fits perfectly into the mix. Production is handled with practised finesse by Simon Effemy (Draconian Times by Paradise Lost), and perfectly captures the dense sound without beinf cluttered. It took me a few listens to really get into this sound, but "Am Universum" grows richer with every listen, and is now one of my most played albums ever. This is the sound of a band making music because they love it. Listen and learn.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rui Firmino on 23 April 2002
Format: Audio CD
Amorphis's "Am Universum" is pure listening pleasure. Never had Metal music sound so refreshing, airy and, er, catchy! It's impossible not to me moved by the edgy tunes in this album and before you notice you'll be hooked. Every single song is a potential Metal anthem. An absolutely stunning release. Get it, play it, stand back in awe and enjoy!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 36 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Amorphis is about integrity and Am Universum is their proof 19 May 2004
By Murat Batmaz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It is funny how Amorphis gets all this negative feedback from their so-called fans. Most of them are unfortunately close-minded folks who won't accept anything different from the band's earlier melodic doom-death driven Tales from the Thousand Lakes. I don't see it. Contrary to bands like Paradise Lost, Moonspell, Tiamat or Ulver who also started out as extreme metal bands, Amorphis never went on to become a lousy electronic/goth act completely stripped off their integrity. It is hard to take any comment that says they have 'sold out' seriously when the music on Am Universum is deeply rooted in jazz harmonies and develops into powerful and Floydan psychedelic expression. It's one thing to dislike a band's change of musical direction, but it's a completely different matter to call them sell-outs just because they are actually exploring with deeper musical ideas.
I happen to like some of Tiamat and Ulver's newer material but think their earlier work is much better. As for Amorphis, while the Tales and Elegy era will probably appeal to me the best, I think their current style which is a culmination of a wide variety of genres is really successful. It is understandable that the fans on the extreme end of the equation may not like this, but the ones who appreciate musical growth and change combined with more powerful artistic expression and slightly progressive ingredients are bound to -- at least -- appreciate this CD, if not dig it completely.
Am Universum may be my favourite Amorphis album from the post-Elegy era of the band which signalled the change of their direction. While Tuonela was heavily folk-tinged, their last one, Far from the Sun displays their more modern and guitar-driven updated sound. Am Universum falls somewhere in between but is very heavily influenced by the 70's and particularly the keyboard work is reminiscent of Pink Floyd's psychedelic era. The song arrangements are strengthened with jazzy elements particularly in tracks such as "Crimson Wave", "Drifting Memories" and "Captured State". The addition of saxophone seems to have put so many fans off, but don't get it the wrong way. It is delicately placed in the mix and it never overpowers any other instrument. The keyboard work and guitar riffing is much more on jazz ground than the saxophone.
"Alone" is my personal favourite off this album and also one of the best Amorphis tunes ever penned in my opinion. The keyboard work that is thrown in the middle is a great homage to the 70's and puts a smile on my face whenever I hear it and the structure of the song refuses to give in and builds up with another beautiful chorus delivered flawlessly by Pasi and the tune closes with a soothing guitar solo that fades into layers of white noise. Simply brilliant. "Crimson Wave" is another perfect tune that brings the band's creative approach to the focus of the album displaying the rich harmonies buried within the composition which we can hear on any King Crimson release of the early 70's. The sometimes overlooked "Veil of Sin" is the secret gem of Am Universum. The emotional singing is central here with subtle keyboard and guitar work dancing around the vocals. Songs like "Goddes (of the Sad Man)" and "Forever More" are more straightforward tunes we heard on Far from the Sun with their direct approach, repetitive choruses and more updated guitar sound.
Overall Am Universum has a lot of substance. The guys have created a very full album without depending on any filler tracks. This is perhaps the most complex disc of their last three outputs and this may be one of the factors why it gets bashed so badly by some. I enjoy every single Amorphis album to one degree or another but Am Universum ranks a bit higher than most of their other CDs.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
a pleasant surprise 5 Jan 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
ok, so maybe im going against the grain of the die hard amorphis fans, but guess what? who cares. this is a fine piece of musicianship. the songs are well crafted and colorful, the lyrics are a thing of beauty, and the songs have the perfect amount of catchy-ness. Maybe their older albums were more ground-breaking, but this is still quite good. oh, and dont be fooled by other reviews. this album isnt as soft and poppy as many reviews state. while the songs dont grind, they still have a good amount of heavy riffs.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Better than the last cd! 13 Nov 2002
By MusicFreak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A band or artist that is not afraid to explore new musical terrain is a rare thing these days. Amorphis has proven to be one of the best at this. Every single album they've made is absolutely amazing, yet different. I must confess that this one took me a couple of listens, and then the lightbulb went on - "This album is even better than Tuonela!" Contrary to what reviewer Raldante Mcgills says, the clean-voiced singer here (Pasi) did not sing on "Tales from a Thousand Lakes" The first Amorphis cd on which he appeared is "Elegy" - the album that signaled the transition to their new style (on that cd the rough vocals were handled by founder vocalist/guitarist Tomi Koivusaari, just like in all their previous cd's). On this album Amorphis expand on what "Tuonela" established. The airy guitar textures combined with heavier riffs, the soaring vocal melodies, and the use of other, "non-metal" instruments, such as the saxophone. But, on "Am Universum" these elements have coalesced into a more powerful whole. It finally clicked, and we are shown the vast musical potential of this band. On the previous cd they were experimenting, expanding. Here we have the fruitful results of such experiments. I say long live Amorphis, and long live bands that are fearless to push the envelope.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A worthwhile album 15 Mar 2002
By Jack Lupino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Regardless of how it compares to previous releases, this album stands as an honest and thoroughly enjoyable release from the Finnish quintet.
First things first; yes, this album is an aquired taste.
Alot of people have talked about how they dislike the use of the saxophone, but I have to say it's used perfectly here. The good thing about this cd is that it's neither forced nor withdrawn. It's powerful, but not agressive. It's moving, but not soft. Yes, this album may not appeal to you altogether, given the overall homogeny, but nevertheless this comes very highly recommended.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Wow 22 Dec 2001
By "fratboy2001" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm not really a big fan of death/black metal, and I knew that Amorphis was a death metal band so I never really got into them. I heard, a couple of years ago, that they were changing their sound, so I checked them out again. I still thought there was something missing. I finally heard their new album. This is probably the best release of 2001, and far better than their last one (which was also very good in its own right). The music is simply beautiful and breath-taking. An intelligent rhythm section, amazing guitar work, eerie keyboards, and melodic, beautiful vocals make this CD a must have for anyone who can truly appreciate good music. They've lost almost all hint of black metal (except maybe for the lyrics) but they still remain a heavy, groove-oriented band. If you're into pop and the crap they play on the radio, this album may be way over your head. Every nu-metal act out there makes the claim that their album is "both heavy and melodic," and instead sound like over-processed, recycled crap. This is the real deal. Heavy, melodic, emotional music and lyrics without the sappy, boring ballads and the rapcore (...)
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