since i posted a blog about my disappointment in amorphis, i’ve been digging deep into their past to learn more about what happened, to learn what went wrong.
i found some cool things. i looked for live videos of them from the elegy tour, and found a handful of great vids that showcase the energy and excitement the band exuded at the time. like this one.
then i saw that the band recently made a documentary called ‘tales from the 20 years’ so i checked it out. it was interesting and had some decent footage, but i was really disappointed and annoyed by a few things.
to start with, a lot of things are left unsaid, and it seems like some of the guys are in denial. regarding why jan rechberger left amorphis after the US tour with entombed in ’94 or ’95, esa holopainen said he simply didn’t remember what happened or why jan left.
bull fucking shit.
i remember reading an interview with esa in metal maniacs or a fanzine called ss854 back in the 90’s where he said that you learn a lot about people on tour, and they found that jan couldn’t handle touring and they couldn’t handle him on tour. i think he called jan a baby or something like that. maybe esa doesn’t want to get into that now but i think rather than being cryptic and claiming not to remember something he surely does, he should just say it was a personal thing that he doesn’t want to discuss publicly, and that he’s glad they worked things out eventually. it’s not hard to be polite, honest, diplomatic. come on.
i also remember reading comments by holopainen, probably in the same article, that ville tuomi (who sang clean vocals on tales from the thousand lakes) was an arrogant prick, and that’s why amorphis didn’t work with him more. i also read comments he made about kim rantala changing his hair and fashion while in the band and what an ominous sign that had been that it wouldn’t work with him and the band. AND i remember him talking about how stupid he thought black metal was, doing mock impressions of their vocals and such when amorphis had death metal growls, as if there’s really a discernible difference.
basically, it seems to me that holopainen is a shallow, dishonest, two-faced hypocrite dickhead.
back to the documentary: regarding the departure of kim rantala, current amorphis keyboardist santeri kallio says as far as he knows, no one was able to get in touch with rantala after the elegy tour. he says that rantala simply vanished so he was replaced, and kallio still doesn’t know what happened. now that’s fishy as all hell. in almost 20 years, no one has figured out where rantala went or what happened between him and the band? we’re supposed to believe it’s still some mystery? that’s ridiculous. is amorphis full of dudes who don’t know what happen to their friends and bandmates, and don’t care? i don’t believe that for a second. it’s just more juvenile melodrama.
another disappointing aspect was that holopainen and tomi koivusaari used the term ‘dead end’ to describe growling vocals and folk music. they say this is why they shifted from folk-infused melodic death metal to rock music. i think that’s ridiculous considering that ac/dc-ish rock music has been beaten to death since the 1970’s. how is rehashing a tired medium less of a dead end than experimenting and combining heretofore disparate musical styles? they’re not making any sense.
i also didn’t like how koivusaari and holopainen talked about pasi kosinen’s stage presence. they thought he became more comfortable after the elegy tours and really ‘found himself’ then, but that’s horseshit. he didn’t find himself, him and the rest of the band just got super boring and started standing in one spot the whole show. they try to pretend that standing still and being boring is spiritual or serious or something, but it’s not. it just sucks. BORING LIVE BANDS ARE BORING. not coincidentally, the entire band talked in the documentary about the frustration and lack of direction they felt during the koskinen-fronted years, so i imagine the lackluster performances were largely inspired by the lackluster music they were performing — it’s hard to thrash around and have a good time when you hate the songs you’re performing.
what i DID like about the documentary were the interviews with olli pekka laine and pekka kasari. they are both honest and candid about their experiences in the band, and that’s refreshing compared to the rest of the delusional horseshit being spewed. i wish there were also interviews with kasper martenson, kim rantala, ville tuomi, and pasi koskinen. that would have been very interesting.
on that note, olli pekka laine and kasper martenson have continued to make cool music. they are currently in a progressive death metal band called barren earth and i LOVE their song, the rains begin. it’s heavy and emotional and AWESOME — just like amorphis used to be, way back when.