Feb 122016

Amorphis-Under the Red Cloud


Welcome to the 24th Part of our roll-out of 2015’s Most Infectious Songs, as chosen by me and me alone. I have a constricting feeling around my throat as I bear down on my self-imposed Sunday deadline for finishing this list, when in fact I’m not really close to exhausting all the songs I want to write about. I have some terrible decisions to make this weekend.

The rest of the songs on the list can be inspected via this link.


I don’t suppose Amorphis really needed to make a “comeback” album. They haven’t really gone away, and the massive core of their fan base has never left them. But I still think of Under the Red Cloud as a comeback album.


Amorphis band


And by that I mean that it more consistently reminds me of the band’s finest hours than the last album did. In saying that, I suspect I’m influenced in part by the absolute delight I experienced in seeing their live performance at last year’s Maryland Deathfest. They were really good, and brought back the kind of feelings I had when I first discovered their music as I was beginning to get into extreme metal.

Under the Red Cloud is loaded with memorable songs, but this is the one I find myself going back to the most: “The Four Wise Ones“.












For people who are regular visitors to our site, this next pick will seem to come out of deep left field — because we didn’t review the album and I didn’t even include songs from it in any of the jillions of new-music round-ups I wrote last year. I didn’t even discover the song until near the end of the year — but it really has grabbed me.

The song is “Blodörn“, and it’s the opening track on the 2015 album by Sweden’s Månegarm, which was self-titled despite the fact that it was the band’s eighth studio album in a career the reaches back to the mid-’90s.

If this doesn’t get your blood pumping, I’ll be surprised. When that mighty riff comes in after the entrancing introduction, I get goosebumps every damned time… and the soaring chorus is heart-swelling.









WIndfaerer-Tenebrosum small


The last song in this trio comes from a wonderful album named Tenebrosum by New Jersey’s Windfaerer, and it happens to be a song that we premiered last year: “Celestial Supremacy“. I thought the song was great the first time I heard it, and I still get a charge out of hearing it eight months later. To crib from my own write-up about the track:

“With hammering riffs, thundering drums, and a squalling lead guitar, “Celestial Supremacy” immediately conjures vivid images of storm-tossed seas. The music is accented by Ben Karas’ violin performance, which is both beautiful and searing, while guitarist Michael Gonçalves’ passionate, bleeding-edge howls and shrieks enhance the music’s driving intensity. There is blood-pumping fury in the song, as well as captivating melody, as the band weave together elements of black metal and melodic death metal to produce a riveting, powerhouse piece of music that hits with the force of a gale.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the album, I encourage you to go explore it on Bandcamp:




  1. Oh come on..”Call of the Runes” is the best song on the new Manegarm album..that shit is just plain catchy

    …and Amorphis’s MDF set was probably the highlight for me last year…fantastic way to close down the outdoor stage

    • That last set at Edison Lot was like sonic fireworks. And I’m not going to fight you about the Manegarm pick. Just way too many competitors. But you have to admit that the one I picked is really goddamn catchy. Be honest.

      • Okay..yeah…It is pretty catchy. I actually do really like that track, its the kind of song that would have fit in perfectly on one of their older albums.

        Im such a huge fan of that band, I really wish they could get on a tour and come to the U.S.

  2. Damn, already loving the new Amorphis but now I’m adding Manegarm and Windfaerer to the purchase list. Both ripping tracks. Hails Islander!

  3. Literally any track on that new Amorphis is more than qualified to be on here. That whole album is unfairly catchy.

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