Amorphis

Privilege of Evil

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A collection of demo material from Amorphis' early career, Privilege of Evil is a surprisingly good collection of first-wave Euro death metal. All the patented genre stylings are present, most importantly the extra-low aggro grunting and the shifting double-kick arrangements. The tempos and guitar riffs mutate appropriately, as this 1993 Relapse offering plays out like a death metal tutorial. When a formula is followed so closely, it is often difficult to pinpoint exactly what (if anything) makes a record unique or even interesting. With music like this, the riffs are what matters, and guitarist/vocalist Tomi Koivusaari and fellow axeman Esa Holopainen came up with some excellent progressions that they both execute with abandon on Privilege of Evil. Highlights include the opening track, "Pilgrimage From Darkness," and "Misery Path," but death discs are usually taken as a whole. And while Privilege of Evil might be a little rough around the edges, it's also a testament to the pronounced abilities of Amorphis.

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