Finland's Amorphis have been standard bearers for Nordic metal since the final decade of the 20th century. Originally conceived as a death metal band, they transcended the genre limitation early on as 1994's Tales From The Thousand Lakes began incorporating elements of folk, Viking, and progressive metal into their sound. 2001's keyboards-and-saxophone-drenched Am Universum went further, threading psychedelia into their sonic quilt. 2009's globally celebrated Skyforger showcased riff driven melodic death balanced with hooky progressive tenets. 2015's Under The Red Cloud took that sound as far as it could go to became a global bestseller.
Founding guitarist Esa Holopainen described the band's m.o. this way: "We'll change our style only if we manage to create something ourselves." 2018's Queen of Time managed just that with a meld of prog, psych and driving hard rock; its single "The Bee," climbed international streaming charts. 2022's saw the release of Halo, whose songs utilized shifting time signatures, intricate melodies, choirs, and ever changing dynamics to underscore the band’s unique, unrivaled folk-cum-melodic death metal fusion.
In March 2018, the band issued its most successful single "The Bee" ahead of 12th studio long-player Queen of Time, that arrived the following month. Produced once more by Bogren, the set featured the return of founding bassist Olli-Pekka Laine amid an ambitious slate of songs that included choirs, an orchestra and numerous guest spots -- vocalist Anneke van Giersbergen, Loudness guitarist Akira Takasaki and Shining saxophonist Jorgen Munkeby all made appearances. Queen of Time also reached into the top five at streaming.
After spending the rest of the year and most of 2019 touring, the band settled into quarantine in 2020 to sit out the COVID-19 pandemic. They returned in 2021 with Live at Helsinki Ice Hall, the document of a homecoming show two years earlier. Throughout the year Amorphis worked on new material in the studio with Bogren. Several singles appeared in 2021 including "Brother and Sister," and "Daughter of Hate" / "House of Sleep." In February 2022, Amorphis released Halo, a sprawling, hook-laden, meld of psychedelic hard rock and progressive folk metal.