According to Last.FM, Amorphis is my second most-listened-to Artist of all time. So when the Facebook group “Melodic/Progressive/Power/Symphonic/Speed/Traditional Metal Sharing” called for a ranking of the discography, I decided to write a whole article for it.
In this ranking article, I am not writing a review of each album, just expressing what each one means to me at this point in time and space.
So in preparation for this, I listened to the whole discography, as I would have a hard time mixing all the different eras of the band. And here we go!
- The Karelian Isthmus (1992)
- Tales from the Thousand Lakes (1994)
- Elegy (1996)
- Queen of Time (2018)
- Under the Red Cloud (2015)
- Skyforger (2009)
- Silent Waters (2007)
- Tuonela (1999)
- Am Universum (2001)
- Eclipse (2006)
- The Beginning of Times (2011)
- Far from the Sun (2003)
- Circle (2013)
The Karelian Isthmus (1992)
This is the album that has aged the best in the whole discography. Or maybe it is because of the times in which I am writing this. It would have sounded outdated in 2003. But if it had come out in 2018, right on time for the Bolt Thrower clone wars, it would have been Decibel’s Album Of The Year.
I am going to add that the first time I heard Amorphis was in a Nuclear Blast compilation that included “The Exile Of The Sons Of Uisliu”. Right there I sent back the mail order insert to purchase the CD that I still have.
Tales from the Thousand Lakes (1994)
A handful of years back this album had slipped down, a spot or two, in the list. But today it is a solid Top #3. In fact, my 1, 2, 3 in this list are very exchangeable and must have switched places almost every year since 1996. When it came out and listened to it I had the feeling that this band would be with me for many years to come, and in this I was right.
This album just turned 25 years old a couple of days ago. I still remember not having high expectations about it, since I didn’t think Tales could be topped ever, and I was wrong. This became my favourite album of all time from 1996 to 1998.
Queen of Time (2018)
And now just as 1, 2, 3 are exchangeable, also 4, 5, 6 in this list are completely exchangeable as well and the ranking could change next month. I actually came into this ranking thinking it would be Skyforger, Red Cloud, Queen. Right now I enjoy the combination of the melody with the power that we heard in Under The Red Cloud.
Under the Red Cloud (2015)
What a comeback. From Circle to Under The Red Cloud has to be the biggest jump up or down in quality in the whole Amorphis discography. Powerful, that’s it, enough said.
I was obsessed with this album when it came out and must have been in top 3 for some time, even made it to #1. Now revisiting I feel it getting dated. Perhaps in 5-10 more years it will feel fresh and timeless again?
Silent Waters (2007)
I stopped listening to Amorphis when they released Am Universum and skipped the albums in between until this gem came out. I loved it and it renewed my love for Amorphis. I do not miss a release upon release date since then again.
The last album I loved one after the other since discovering the band. I used to listen to it in repeat in my car and I still have my signed copy from when I met them in Phoenix, AZ on their tour with Moonspell and The Kovenant. So it always brings great memories.
Am Universum (2001)
I liked this album when it came out, but I did not love it. Looking back it feels like a more refined Tuonela. It has arguably superior songwriting and superior almost every other technical aspect. I was just getting into other things musically at that time and started to lose interest for a handful of years.
After Am Universum, I lost my interest in following the band, actually during that cycle. So then unfortunately I missed the release of this album which is an excellent comeback. It had to grow on me later on and in retrospect. I would agree with most critics that would say this is one of their best ever.
The Beginning of Times (2011)
I was disappointed in this album when it came out from the high of Skyforger. And as a matter of fact, I thought this would be the bottom album on my list. I reconsidered that after revisiting it, and discovering that I quite enjoy all the melodic and soft journeys of this album. It could keep creeping up the list. I will certainly continue to play it again in the next few days.
Far from the Sun (2003)
Another album that I thought could be the bottom. And it is actually not that bad now that I revisited it. If it had come out 8-10 years earlier it might have been an O.K. grunge album. But it was probably too hippie for the early oughties proto-hipster indie-rock boom.
I can say Amorphis has no bad albums but this one barely makes it. It is the most formulaic of the Amorphis albums, sounds like it was on automatic and a bit uninspired. I can still leave it playing while I work and I wouldn’t skip any songs. But it’s not one that I would put when getting immersed into the music by myself, or when enjoying with friends.
This is the end of the list. 13 full-length albums up to 2021. I am curious to see how the current list changes in 5, 10 or 20 years. And what else can I say for final words, other than Thank you Amorphis for so much great music you have given us through the years. And I’m sure there is still a lot more to come!
My friends and I outside the Amorphis, Moonspell, The Kovenant show in Phoenix, AZ on May 20, 2000.