Album Review: Amorphis — “Halo”

Amorphis - Halo

Thirty years on from their groundbreaking debut The Karelian Isthmus Finnish death metal trailblazers Amorphis continue to show the rest of the world how it’s done. After the 1-2 punch of Under the Red Cloud and Queen of Time (forever known as Queen of Bee around these parts) I think we all expected a similar tone and weight with the new album, but having now sat with new album Halo for a few weeks I think the band have taken another leap forward. Heavier, proggier, and just a bit, well…more than what came before, this feels like a definitive statement from the band, pointing to more and more distant horizons.

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CANTO: Mastodon, Opeth, Inglorious, and More

Happy Amorphis week!

  • I think leading off with Mastodon and Opeth is the proper choice. Those two have another North American tour coming up together, in April and May, and I cannot wait. They’re skipping my coast this time around, but I have a feeling I’m still going to make this happen.
  • In case it wasn’t obvious, I’m excited about the new Amorphis record. So on that note, I’m going to slide in the latest studio documentary episode, where they cover the vocals and lyrics. Watch it here, and make sure you have Halo ready to go on Friday.
  • Out of the Voyager camp, we have a fresh new drum play-through for the Eurovision song “Dreamer”. In case you were wondering, that song is taken from 2019’s release, Colours in the Sun.
  • Inglorious have announced their ever first live release, MMXXI Live At The Phoenix. That’s set for an April 8th release through Frontiers Music. Check out the clip for “I Don’t Need Your Loving” immediately below, and purchase the album here.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”

Initial Descent: February 6 – 12, 2022

Amorphis courtesy of Sam Jamsen

This winter weather is relentless. Maybe spring will start early. Anyway, new release time and this week knocks off a handful of my early 2022 most anticipated albums and preorders. A mailbox full of preorders does indeed make me happy despite the cold weather, so there’s that. Moving on, Amorphis just get better with age and Halo finds them lean just a tad harder on the heavier side but still in excellent melodic form, pretty much one of my favorites from them in a long time. As we all know, when Zeal & Ardor hit the scene they shook all the foundations of metal and beyond and with this week’s effort, they throw caution completely to the wind and offer up their best, and wildest, yet. Following those we’ve got epic post-metal from Cult of Luna, wrecking ball grind from Napalm Death, and a long list of other releases worthy of your time. Jump in there and get cracking, tons of goodies to discover this week. 

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The Nine Circles Playlist Vol. 215 (1.22.2022)

playlist - mixtape

I’m back, baby…took a week off to get out of the cold and storms and hit the Florida Keys, where despite being mandated to listen to things like Bertie Higgins and other assorted yacht rock, I still pounded some righteous metal. Holy CRAP the new Falls of Rauros, y’all…can’t wait for everyone to hear it.

And you can hear the first single “Clarity” now on the 215th edition of the Nine Circles Playlist, as well as the latest from Napalm Death who have an EP coming soon. I can’t believe it’s January and I already have two EOY contenders. Elsewhere in the 9C universe Josh brings the super heavy with new music from Undeath and Deserted Fear as well as site favorites Amorphis and Ghost. Vincent mixes things up with Piet Onthel, some vintage Bloc Party and the newest from Alto Arc. Have I mentioned Buke has some weird wiring that allows him to know what I’m listening to any given moment and reflect that in his playlist picks. How else to explain his inclusion of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and Tom Waits? have no fear: he also throws in some classic Dio and Black Sabbath to ensure heaviness reigns. Anton once again packs for bear, giving us Slugdge covering Napalm Death and a new collaboration between Lustmord and Godflesh.

Finally Angela gets us back on extreme metal ground with cuts from Druid Lord, Sowulo, and Zeal & Ardor which feels like a great close to this week. I need a coffee refill, so we’ll leave you with the playlist. Be seeing you…


CANTO: Amorphis, Abbath, Hatebreed, and More

I don’t even know where to begin with how annoyed I am… but at least there’s a lot going on today.

“Ein Bier… bitte.”