Tag Archives: mikko kotamaki

Amorphis Lines Out 2017 North American Return With Swallow The Sun

The concert tour announcements never seem to stop do they? Oh I’m not complaining at all because there is nothing I like more than checking out a Metal show with some friends. With that being said, this recent announcement by the mighty Amorphis was welcome news. Add to this the inclusion of Swallow The Sun and I say “sign me up”. Check out the press release below and I’ll return with some thoughts at the close.

The Press Release:
The masters of melancholic progressive metal, AMORPHIS, will return to North America next March/April for a long overdue headlining tour. Support will come from fellow Fin’s and melodic doom/death merchants SWALLOW THE SUN. The band will also appear on select dates with thrash legends OVERKILL and Egyptian themed technical death metal champions NILE.

“It’s been a long time since we toured in North America and Canada,” comments guitarist Esa Holopainen. “To be honest, way too long and at some point we thought we might never be back. In show business, things are not that simple and no matter how much AMORPHIS would like to tour, or play shows in different territories, usually it just doesn’t make sense.
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A Slightly Silent Barren Earth; Mikko Kotamäki Departs The Lineup

The other day I saw some sad news posted on the Facebook page of our friend in Metal one Mr. Mikko Kotamaki who announced that he was leaving the lineup of Barren Earth.  This saddened us a little bit I will admit.

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Katatonia @ Gramercy Theatre (9/10/2010)

Logo - Katatonia

Artist: Katatonia
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: Swallow The Sun, Orphaned Land, Gwynbleidd
Date: 9/10/2010
Label: Peaceville Records

I started my September concert adventuring with the crushing Melodic Death Metal of Order Of Ennead who played over at Santo’s Party House last week and it was good warm up to the festivities happening over at the Gramercy Theatre this evening. Tonight was the Atmospheric Melodic Doom of Katatonia from Sweden who would be joined by Swallow The Sun care of Finland and this alone would make for an amazing show without any additions. We would of course be getting a lot more for it would be complimented by Orphaned Land and local talent Gwynbleidd. I had to say that I was really looking forward to this show because it had been a long time since half of the players had been enjoyed in concert while the other half were only recently seen by this music scribe and left me totally impressed. The show would be held at the Gramercy Theatre and be sold out for many days by the time it actually would be taking place. I made sure I was inside nice and early because I didn’t want to miss a second of what was going to happen. Here is how it went down.
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“Our Twilight” by Barren Earth

Artist: Barren Earth
Title: “Our Twilight”
Label: Peaceville Records
Release Date:
Genre: Doom Metal
Rating: 4.5/5

Fans of the bands Swallow The Sun, Moonsorrow, Amorphis and Kreator have something new to be excited about and that is the collaboration of six musicians who’ve all honed their skills in those bands for years and now let those influences take new life in a crushing new band called Barren Earth. Before I get deeper into this infectious EP they call “Our Twilight” let me tell you who is in the group. It begins with vocalist Mikko Kotamaki (Swallow The Sun) who is joined by two former members of Amophis in Olli-Pekka Laine (bass) and Kasper Martenson (keyboards). Guitars are adeptly handled by Janne Perttila (Rytmihaino) and Sami Ylisimio (Kreator) with Marko Tarvonen on the drums. It’s quite a lineup but one that you fear might will sound “too much like” their previous or existing bands but this is not the case at all. There are some similarities which we find as the opening tune “Our Twilight” begins, but it’s a similarity of how one might see the band Amorphis and Swallow The Sun coming off if the two had merged into one unit. Crushing groove at the onset which leads into warm and almost ghostly clean vocals. This adventures even further by bringing an Opethian level of Prog-Death Metal to the mix and in the end tie all of these feels together. The second tune is “Jewel” and it begins with warm piano and crushing riff working together as if they were always meant to do so. Mikko wins me over with the deep resonance of his clean vocal in this one more than the growls and what was incredibly impressive was how the turn takes a very Tull meets Renaissance Progressive Rock turn with its middle section. You might be surprised at the reference of the Classical Art Rock band, but listen to a couple of their extended jams and tell me you disagree with me. Whew was all I could muster as this interlude blasted through my speakers. Needless to say I was hooked from the beginning with this one.
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Soilwork @ Highline Ballroom (2/15/2009)

Logo - Soilwork
Artist: Soilwork
Venue: Highline Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: Swallow The Sun, Warbringer, Darkane
Date: 2/15/2009
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

There was a time not too long ago where I felt as if I was catching the band Soilwork more often than I would like to and that was causing their sound to be something that I was not always excited about even though I always managed to enjoy the shows. This happens when you see bands again and again and let’s face it they did tour relentlessly for their “Stabbing The Drama” CD and even after a short break to record “Sworn To A Great Divide” they would be right back at it as champions of their own new music. Having passed on a few appearances I was happy to be present as the band headlined the very comfortable space of the Highline Ballroom. This is a great room and to help Soilwork level the place would be Swallow The Sun, Warbringer and Darkane. We got in place nice and early to be sure we wouldn’t miss any of these great bands. Swallow The Sun would be up first.
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