Evil Dr. Smith : Horst, I and probably every metalhead agree: 'Tales From The Thousand Lakes' will never be beaten. But that's okay, it's just the same with 'The Number Of The Beast', a 'Left Hand Path', a 'Reign In Blood' or a 'Thriller' (hahaha!): it's just an impossible task. So quit shitting, Amorphis hasn't got a thing to do anymore with death metal, but they evolve a style, just like 'predecessors' Paradise Lost, that nowadays hardly is even metal… I mean: a saxophone for f*** sake!?!?!??!!? I think you can't even call their music hardrock anymore…it's more like seventies progrock with a nineties-sound (or how do you say that anno 2001: a twentyfirstcentury-sound?). So try to listen to 'AM Universum' without that magnificent 'Thousand Lakes' in the back in your mind, but see this album more as a logical next step from their commercially extreme successfull metalfarewell-album 'Tuonela' (Top 50-ies in the German albumcharts!). Maybe this is hard to try. At least I had some troubles with it, but after many, many, many overtime hours of playing the cd, and that's just because I really need, want and have to like every Amorphis-cd for myself (it happened that they used to be one of my favorites…), I came finally to the conclusion that this new album is quite satisfying for myself. But, is satisfying enough? With this cd, the 'softies' of Relapse Records, will gain a bigger fanbase under progressive seventies-rockfans instead that their former deathmetal-fans will give them one more chance, whether or not they had already turned their backs after their album 'Elegy'. Because they not only conjured up a saxophone, but there is also a hammond organ that passes by. IMHU, this results in some very fine moments in for instance the great psychedelic seventiesrocker "The Night Is Over', which is only beaten in songquality by the magnificent openingstrack 'Alone'. And that song is at this time of writing a number one hitsingle in Finland! The other 8 songs are excellented provided as well ('Drifting Memories' and 'Grieve Stricken Heart' are for example some other strong songs), with some nice melancholic melodies, but still with a firm groove, leadsinger Pasi Koskinen is still singing better and the saxophone surprisingly suits the music very well (!!!): actually, everything sounds really good and professional. So, nothing stands in their way to become a band that will reach the 'go like hot cakes'-stage. Or it has to be the stupid, frightful, 'modern art: my ass!' cover of this album… The formerly youthful aggressiveness, the intensity and the speed has definitive lost (again) and made their way for melancholy, hit-potential arrangements and maturity (well, it's just what you prefer…). So progrockers who still doesn't know Amorphis: try them out! Speaking for myself, I can give my approval to this cd (actually, it's rather enjoyable), but still… their 'Tales From The Thousand Lakes' keeps on beating at the back of my head.