Amorphis, "Far from the Sun"
2004 finds Finland's Amorphis taking their third crack at the spacey rock sound that they bravely put forth on Tuonela. Far from the Sun is pretty much what we'd all expect, and what diehard fans of the band's new sound would hope for. Before hearing this disc, was worriedly thinking, "Tuonela was a solid CD, but after the way Am Universum was so incredibly boring, this next one might really suck." Now that I've let the 15 tracks run their course through my eardrums a few times, I'm convinced that Far from the Sun is not a repeat of Amorphis' previous lackluster performance.
Admittedly, there are a few songs on this album that don't have the necessary edge, and they lope along falling into the cracks between spacey and rocking. These songs, including "Planetary Misfortune" and "Morning Soil," aren't offensive, they're just exceptionally dull. Thankfully they create a striking contrast with the better-crafted material like the delicate "Etherial Solitude" or Amorphis' take on Black Sabbath titled "Killing Goodness." And thankfully the majority of the rest of the disc (especially including the 5 bonus tracks that are anything but filler) falls into the pile of good material from Far from the Sun. I am pleased with the band's work here, and though it could be improved upon, I believe Amorphis has the tenacity and skill to only improve on their Tuonela sound with subsequent efforts.
Far from the Sun