Finnish melancholic dark metal forerunners AMORPHIS have set "Circle" as the title of their eleventh album, due 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.
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."
AMORPHIS singer Tomi Joutsen adds 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."
Fan-filmed video footage of AMORPHIS performing a brand new song — tentatively titled "Mehtä" (English-language translation: "The Forest") — on December 14, 2012 at Klubi in Turku, Finland can be seen below.
Regarding the band's decision to perform a brand new track during their Finnish tour, Tomi said: "We just wanted to try how it worked, and it went [over] really well.
"We don't want to play too many [new] songs, because people are recording [the shows with their phone cameras] and [posting] it on the Internet, and we don't wanna spoil the album [for everyone].
"I was really nervous, of course, when we played it the first time, but it went over great. I think it's gonna be an awesome live song."
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."
"The Beginning Of Times" entered the German Media Control chart at position No. 16 — the best chart position ever scored by an AMORPHIS album in that country. The CD also landed at position No. 1 on the Finnish chart.
"Mehtä" (working title) performance: