Metal Shock Finland 's Blackdiamond recently conducted an interview with vocalist Tomi Joutsen of Finnish melancholic dark metal forerunners AMORPHIS. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Asked about his reaction to the passing of founding SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, Tomi said: "For me, it was a huge surprise, I knew he was sick, but I didn't know it was so serious. When I heard the news, I was really shocked. I mean, really shocked. SLAYER were, of course, a really important band and I'm glad they are continuing, but it's not the same without Jeff. He did some great songs with SLAYER and I think he was a person who didn't want to do any compromises, so it was a great thing. Yeah, it made me really sad; it was a sad day."
"Circle", the eleventh album from AMORPHIS, has registered the following first-week chart positions:
UK: #14 (rock chart)
Sweden: #33, #3 (rock/metal chart)
"Circle" was released on April 19 via Nuclear Blast Records. Production and mixing duties for the follow-up to 2011's "The Beginning Of Times" were handled by HYPOCRISY and PAIN mastermind Peter Tägtgren, who has previously worked with such bands as CHILDREN OF BODOM, CELTIC FROST, IMMORTAL and DIMMU BORGIR. The recordings took place at Petrax Studio (NIGHTWISH, CHILDREN OF BODOM, KORPIKLAANI) in Hollola and 5K Studios in Helsinki. The cover artwork was created by Tom Bates (BLEED FROM WITHIN, DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL) and can be seen below.
Commented AMORPHIS vocalist Tomi Joutsen: "The mystic, androgynous person on the cover represents a spiritual guide. This character was sent from another time and place to help the album's protagonist find a new path for his life."
Apart from the CD+DVD digibook version, "Circle" was made available on CD (without the bonus track), black 2LP in gatefold, brown 2LP in gatefold and as a bulging limited box, including three bonus tracks and a wristband — exclusively via the Nuclear Blast mail order.
A short summary about the album's concept/story that spreads throught out the lyrics by Pekka Kainulainen, who wrote the lyrics for most recent AMORPHIS albums: "The protagonist has been dealt a bad hand at birth. He’s always felt himself an outsider with strong potential to become marginalized. Through an accident, after a crisis, he finds a connection with his inner powers. A guide is sent to him, from some other time and place. He gets a chance to take hold of his own life and change his destiny. From the past of Carelian Finland he finds his own spiritual tribe and the power to turn the course of his doomed life. This is a story of survival."
Joutsen added about the album title: "'Circle' represents integrity. Back in the days, when there was something special to talk about, wise men used to sit in circle. Not everyone was invited to join them. But in this story, the protagonist was invited among the wise men's circle."
Regarding the direction of the new AMORPHIS material, the band's guitarist and founding member Esa Holopainen said: "While promoting 'The Beginning Of Times', we started to feel that we were giving the same explanations over and over again when people asked about the studio process and how the songs came about. Even though the music was very strong, the making process didn't offer any surprises and appeared to be quite secured. Now the addition of a new dimension to the developing process has inspired us to focus on our material even more. The songs are extremely strong, bombastic and skull-pummelling."