Special report by Martin Popoff
Finnish doom progressives Amorphis are following up their successful North American tour dates with a return to Sonic Pump studios, point of business being the recording of a follow-up album to 2007’s Silent Waters, slated for release by May, 2009.
Says guitarist Tomi Koivusaari, “The lyrics are pretty much going to be based on Kalevala world again, our own version of the tale of Kalevala, the idea of creating the sky. The same guy who did the Silent Waters lyrics is working now with the text for the next album. The Finnish version is already done, but it still has to be translated. It’s 15 poems and is his version and his view of it. Because he’s very like a shamanic guy; he’s very related to Kalevala world. This guy is really into Kalevala, and he’s also a painter and actor, a kind of - I don’t know what the word is – performance artist. He goes into the street and does his own performances.”
Musically, “there are some great songs,” laughs co-guitarist Esa Holopainen. “There are some things that remind me of the last two albums. There are a couple of really progressive songs, with maybe five or six different parts to one song. It’s going to be one where you have to give time to the album. We have about 18 songs and we can choose to release them all or just ten of them. Normally we have just one or two extra songs. The reason we have so many is that everybody in the band writes nowadays.”
Is it going to be sequential from this poetry? All in order? A concept?
“That would be fun to do,” answers Tomi. “But at the end of the day it depends on the songs. We had that idea with Silent Waters, but the music wouldn’t have matched that well, to the storyline. It’s always fun to see how the process goes. Because now we have lyrics, and then we have music. So it’s funny to see how the two things fit together. We haven’t done it yet, but that’s what’s going to happen. I guess one thing different from Silent Waters is that we have more time to do the album, and actually demo the album. With Silent Waters, we went straight into the studio. And when you listen to it, there are some things like, ‘This would have been better to do like this,’ but now we’ll have a better view.”
For artwork, the band is working with Travis Smith, who has been told to work with a “tree of life” type concept. “Yes, he has already started work on the album cover,” notes Esa. “We’ve given him some slight ideas. We’ll see where we go from there. He’s great. He’s like our mind reader. He’s an American guy, but he really has a European style as well.”
Amorphis' 'Silent Waters':
(Photo by Mark Gromen)