Finnish band Amoral is another case of a metal band morphing from one genre to another with ease and self-assurance. With the addition of Ari Koivunen (2007 Finnish Idols winner) and his clean vocal style, Amoral has essentially killed the 'death' characteristic and transformed into melodic heavy metal. Or is it really that simple?
Long time fans may be a bit perplexed by the genre-bending musical content of 'Show Your Colors.' One thing is for sure, this work is hardly dull. Amoral deftly and creatively moves between everything from melodic hard rock, classic heavy metal, power metal, thrash metal and yes, still keeping, technical progressive metal. It's in this latter distinction, songs with a more progressive and technical reign defying category, where Amoral succeeds best. 'Year Of The Suckerpunch' varies with tempo and style within melodic metal wrapper. 'Song For The Stubborn' intrigues by being perplexing. Is that melodic heavy metal or hard rock? Or threads of thrash? I think I heard remnants of punk. Finally, 'A Shade Of Gray' reveals that Amoral hasn't strayed to far from the past as Koivunen vocals become rough and the arrangement displays their technical beginnings. This may be some the best stuff on 'Show Your Colors.'
Not necessarily contrasting, but certainly more revealing of the depth of Amoral's talent and craftsmanship are some other notable songs. 'Perfection Design' opens with an awesome rhythm section featuring the bass and then moves to accessible melodic metal with an excellent, nearly hard rock, groove. This same accessibility returns on 'Vivid' and 'Gave Up Easy' which bend most definitely towards melodic hard rock and not metal. Additionally, the final surprise is the aptly named last song 'Exit' were a slow yet steady progression exposes us to some incredible traditional heavy metal.
Finally, I was a bit skeptical of Amoral's 'Show Your Colors' knowing that Ari Koivunen was taking over the lead vocals. This is mostly due to not believing the hype, but also because of his 2008 release 'Becoming,' a dismal, nearly horrifying, work which barely displayed his vocal abilities. Even on this album, he sounds strained at times and unable to keep up as on 'A Shade Of Gray' and the pitiful 'Sex N Satan.' Otherwise, with the caliber of Amoral's talent behind him, I believe this is an excellent fit for Koivunen.
Amoral's 'Show Your Color' was a genuinely intriguing and enjoyable surprise as they move from technical death metal to more melodic progressive metal. With Ari Koivunen at the mic, Amoral uses an expansive breadth of styles to confound classification, but richly entertain. Very recommended!
Amoral's 'Show Your Color' was a genuinely intriguing and enjoyable surprise as they move from technical death metal to more melodic progressive metal. With Ari Koivunen at the mic, Amoral uses an expansive breadth of styles to confound classification, but richly entertain.
England's Seven had a bottle rocket-like existence between 1989 and 1990, spinning two singles in the latter year and performing with the likes of Richard Marx. Then they were gone. But some remembered them ... [ Read More ]