Review by Adam M on May 3, 2016.
Amorphis bring together a transition album with Elegy. It has elements of death metal of yesteryear, but also an expansion towards a progressive sound that would later dominate the band’s career.
The songs are energetic and full of life. Each song has a main sound that sparks up the overall presence of the album. The passion seeps into the songs as they stick out and make an impact on the listener. Songs like the title track, Weeper on the Shore and My Kantele are incredibly memorable. Not only are the harsh sections done well, but the more psychadelic and atmospheric soft ones are also done with the highest level of style. The contrast is indeed similar to what Opeth applied, but is done to an extent even greater than the best of what that band has to offer. While measuring the consistency of the band compared to Opeth’s early material is a different story, the mixture of sounds found on this album in particular is unbeatable. There is simply a stunning ability to combine different sounds in a dynamic and exciting manner. The band has since taken the cleaner portions of their style into prominence and has thus not had the stunning combination found here repeated. Some of the portions of the title track in particular stick into the memory banks long after listening to the album. However, many moments are memorable on this album. There are more portions that stand out here than on any other Amorphis album. In fact, if an investigations of albums from the nineteen nineties takes place, we can see this album high on the list. Its constantly shifting and changing style was a peak in the band’s progression and never has been matched since.
So, when searching for a classic album to satisfy your interests, always return to which ones were the most interesting and Elegy is certainly one of the most satisfyingly original albums of a particular time period. This album is simply classic material.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Review by Luka on May 13, 2001.
The band that keeps evolving. Amorphis, the "ever-changing", shed the skin of their stagnant death metal past and rise majestically to explore the lighter side of metal and even embrace some aspects of their traditional Finnish folk.
Well, the tie to death metal wasn’t completely severed. They did hire the new clear vocalist, Pasi Koskinen, but the original growl of Tomi Koivusaari still dominates as much as half of the record. The music is completely different though, and definitely remains the main aspect of "Elegy", as the lyrics are usually short and all taken from the "Kanteletar" a collection of ancient Finnish poems and ballads, so you know there’ll be no singing about death and destruction from this metal band. Some of the mellow lyrics are so misplaced with the heavy music that it’s sometimes downright funny. The E chords are pounding and the guy is growling his guts out and he’s singing "A widow has had her games and spent a merry evening". Haha! I still somehow like it more than all the generic death metal bands singing about nothing but fucking corpses and death.
Okay, so here’s how almost each majestic song from "Elegy" goes. Starts off with nice melody, does the normal verse-chorus-interlude business before getting to the point where it simply enchants you. At about 3 to 4 minutes into the song, Amorphis choose a really sweet melody and keep repeating it in different keys for minutes. The amazing thing is that it never even comes close to being boring, quite opposite, you find yourself totally captivated by that one simple melody and it’s so catchy and sweet that you never want it to end, and it doesn’t, for a while at least, and sometimes some vocals are added. The song ends in one last majestic repeat where all the instruments seem to come together in a godly conclusion. You’re left starving for more. This is most apparent in "The Orphan", "Song of the Troubled One" and "Weeper on the Shore". Although "Elegy" still remains my favorite.
The solos are executed beautifully and each one fits its song perfectly. All the instruments blend, every musician shines through, these guys really know how to do their thing. "Elegy" is an amazing record musically, but has some faults lyrically.
Bottom Line: Absolutely amazing music, the melodies will be stuck in your head for days. And the funny lyrics might be too.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10