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Amorphis - Halo: "rarely sounded so inspired"

Finland’s prog metal pioneers continue to be brilliant

Amorphis - Halo
(Image: © Atomic Fire)

Amorphis have been so laudably consistent over the past three decades that it will come as no surprise that their 14th studio album is yet another corker. Halo sticks to the Finns’ established formula, but they have rarely sounded as inspired by its creative possibilities as they do here.

Northward may be their finest album opener yet, thanks to a stirring chorus hook, sung and growled with gusto by frontman Tomi Joutsen. On The Dark Waters is equally dazzling, as the band’s gritty riffing is born aloft on thick waves of spiralling synths. Elsewhere, The Moon is as epic and mysterious as its title suggests, with echoes of 80s gothic rock, a wonderfully woozy instrumental section and another towering chorus; while both Seven Roads Come Together and War combine ingenious arrangements and dark, metallic bluster with yet more life-affirming melodies. 

As with every Amorphis album this century, Halo has no discernible weak points, and every last song delivers at least one jolting dose of folk-tinged melodic euphoria. And just to cap off another triumph, the closing My Name Is Night may be the most beautiful song the band have ever written.

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Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.