Silent Waters isnít really a step forward for Amorphis as much as it is a fully realized integration of the bandís previous efforts. The band maintains its folk metal roots, building another album around a story from the Kalevala, and once again relying on its trademark, ethnic riffs for distinctiveness.
The two opening songs are of the most brutal tracks Amorphis has produced in a long time ó the vocal performance is raw and rough, and the music simply obeys to the aggression demanded by the vocals ó these are definitely for the old-time fans.
Those who favor the bandís brutal side should be warned, at this point, that the adrenaline level is not consistent. The title track follows and opens with delicate keyboards, which, as the song evolves, are wrapped with distortion-packed rhythms and compelling guitar leads; the vocal delivery, however, is too restrained. "Towards and Against" does restore some of the bellow, yet musically, some of it is irritatingly upbeat and lacks singularity.
But Amorphis, for the most part, makes up for the slight brownout with fine melodic work, as evident on "I of Crimson Blood," "Her Alone" and "Enigma" (the most traditional song here, founded on chords and epic, minstrel-styled vocal delivery). The rest of the album works equally well, yet "Shaman" deserves a spotlight of its own as it offers ó on top of its classical guitar intro ó a dazzling fusion of Finnish metal riffs, stomping rhythms, keyboards and flute. (8/10)
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