Playing at Tuska 2012 festival
|Genres||Progressive metal, heavy metal, power metal, hard rock, technical death metal (early)|
Amoral was a metal band from Helsinki, Finland, formed in 1997. They play technical, progressive, melodic, hardrock oriented metal. The band's 4th album was an about-turn, replacing the dominance of quirky death metal with an exemplary display of riff-driven, heavy, yet melodic power groove and the occasional sing-along chorus. Amoral had performed extensively in bars, clubs, festivals and other venues in Finland, Europe, Japan, China, Philippines and USA. The band split up in 2017 after 20 years together.
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Amoral was formed in 1997 by 2 teenagers, Ben Varon and Juhana Karlsson. Silver Ots joined soon after. The first vocalist was Matti Pitkänen, who was quickly replaced by Niko Kalliojärvi. Former band members also include Ville Sorvali from Moonsorrow on bass. For some time before Sorvali joined Amoral, the band was without bass player, and Ots played bass on some of their demos. Amoral released two demos, Desolation and Other Flesh, with varying line-ups, and played some minor gigs before releasing their first full-length album.
Amoral signed with Rage of Achilles Records and released their first album, Wound Creations, in 2004. After the bankruptcy of Rage of Achilles Amoral was picked up by Spikefarm, a division of Spinefarm Records, a major Finnish rock and heavy metal record label with whom they re-released Wound Creations and added a bonus track ("Metamorphosis" from an early demo) to mark the new release version. The album has received predominantly positive reviews from metal magazines and webzines around Finland and Europe, and Amoral played numerous gigs following the release and thenceforth Their rise from the underground metal scene was further marked by a month-long European tour with renowned metal bands Finntroll and Naglfar, and their inclusion in Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2005, Finland's most important heavy metal festival.
Soon after the 2005 European tour, Amoral returned to the studio to record their second album, Decrowning. The album was released in Finland and several other countries in October 2005 and in Japan and the United States in March 2006. A music video has been shot for the song "Lacrimal Gland." The band embarked on a second European tour in the spring of 2006. The 37-date tour was headlined by Dark Funeral and Naglfar, and supported by Amoral, Endstille, and Asmodeus. Amoral has since played a showcase gig in Japan and a mini-tour in Italy.
Amoral's third album was recorded in Studio Sound Supreme in Hämeenlinna in early 2007, and it was released in August 2007. A video was shot for the opening track and first and only single of the album, "Leave Your Dead Behind".
Show Your Colors
Amoral's fourth studio album was announced in November 2008 when the band announced Ari Koivunen as their new vocalist. The album was also the debut of bassist Pekka Johansson. On January 21, their first single Year of the Suckerpunch was put up the band's MySpace account. At the first single and also at the total album Amoral replaced the previous growling vocals with clean vocals and big choruses. "Year of the Suckerpunch" was on the Finnish national radio Ylex´s playlist with the highest hopes of receiving song of the year for 2009. The album, Show Your Colors, was released May 6, 2009. Show Your Colors has also been released in Great Britain, Germany, USA, Canada and Japan. The album was ranked by public voting as the fifth best domestic metal album at the Finnish Metal Awards 2009.
12 January 2010 the band announced that Amoral and Silver Ots had parted ways. Valtteri Hirvonen, who already played at the European tour 2009 replacing Silver, was announced to be the "permanent stand-in guitarist" for the time being.
2010 Amoral worked with its 5th album Beneath. At the end of 2010 Amoral announced its new guitarist Masi Hukari, who shared the lead guitar with Ben Varon as well as co-wrote two of the songs.
2011 the band recorded Beneath at Sound Supreme studios in Hämeenlinna and the CD was released 26 October. The Japan edition was out 19 October. The album was produced by Janne Saksa and guitarist Ben Varon. Beneath continued on the path Amoral started with ”Show Your Colors”. The emphasis is still on solid songwriting, big hooks, new arrangements and guitar riffs, but the scale is wider than before: From 9-minute epics ”Beneath” to straightforward rock songs ”Silhouette” and ”Same Difference”, to nods to the band's death metal past ”(Won't Go) Home” and ”Staying Human” and talks between acoustic guitars and industrial landscapes in ”Wastelands”. The first single "Same Difference" was released in the beginning of summer 2011. The second single "Silhouette" was played first time on Radio Rock (FI) in October 2011 and was followed by a video. Silhouette has both electric and acoustic versions, from which the acoustic one is the original. The second video was made from the punk rock oriented track Wrapped in Barbwire, which pays obeisance to Guns N' Roses video "Garden of Eden". 14 February 2012 Beneath was released in the US via The End Records and in Mexico it was published 15 February. In Russia it was out 27 March 2012 via Fono Records. The album was ranked by public voting as the fourth best domestic metal album at the Finnish Metal Awards 2011.
2012 in March 15 Amoral made its US live debut at the South By Southwest SXSW event in Austin, Texas. The band debuted in China, at Shanghai in May and during the same tour they performed with other Finnish bands Insomnium, Profane Omen and Swallow The Sun at The Finland Fest 2012 Metal Attack in Liquid Room, Tokyo. After Amoral still played on Owari Metal Fest in Nagaya. Amoral toured in Europe in autumn 2012 supporting the Finnish Viking metal band Ensiferum with the Finnish metal band Profane Omen.
Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows
The band toured in Asia in April–May and played at Pulp Summer Slam festival in The Philippines and at Peking and Shanghai Midi Festivals in China. The festival in Peking was the biggest one in the band´s history with an audience of 10 000 people.
2013 Amoral recorded their 6th album "Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows". It was released in Finland on February 14, 2014 and as digital all over the world by Imperial Cassette. In Europe the album was released on March 28, 2014 and in UK via Graphite Records March 31, 2014. The album was produced by Ben Varon. Marco Hietala produced the vocals of Ari Koivunen. The music is changed more progressive than ever and it has more metallic touch as the 2 previous albums. The album has received predominantly very positive reviews from metal magazines and webzines around Finland, Europe and USA. The band has been praised for their instrumental and vocal skills and liberated versatile music. The first video Blueprints was made by Valtteri Hirvonen.
March 28, 2014 Amoral celebrated their ten-year-old first album in Nosturi, Helsinki, together with Profane Omen and MyGrain who were also celebrating their 15- and 10-year anniversaries. Amoral published a full concert video on YouTube with material from their 3 first albums and the 6th album. Amoral played at Tuska Open Air in Helsinki, June 2014. In autumn 2014 the band had a club tour in Finland. They toured in Europe November 2014 as the main support act for the Swedish metal band Dark Tranquillity.
In April 2014 Amoral started the pre-production of their 7th album  and the studio work started 13 February 2015. March 26, 2015 the band announced that Niko Kalliojärvi returns to the band, both as the 3rd guitarist and for singing growling vocals. Amoral performed at the end of June 2015 at Tuska after party in Helsinki, where they played one song "Rude Awakening" from the upcoming album.
At the end of November 2015  the album called In Sequence will come out in Japan January 29, 2016 through Ward Records, and global February 5, 2016 through Imperial Cassette (Gordeon Music, GSA / Nightmare Records, North America). The album will continue the progressive metal style of "Fallen Leaves & Dead sparrows" but heavier. Beside the 6 members there are also some quest musicians featuring in the album, as percussionist Teho Majamäki, Indica singer Jonsu and Amine Benotmane from Acyl. The first single "Rude Awakening" was published in December 2015 on Youtube. and the second one "The Next One To Go" end of January 2016 . Ben Varon was telling about the album concept widely in the interview made by the German metal page Negatief.de at the end of January 2016. He told among others: "...in general we wanted to keep the focus on clean vocals, even though Niko is back in the band. I think the melodic side of Amoral is such a big part of us nowadays. I didn’t wanna go all the way back to growling. Niko’s vocals are more a special effect that we use when it’s necessary and brings that “extra something” to the song. Then again Niko also came back as a guitar player... The album is obviously heavier because of Niko. Ari sings super clean. There is no rock’n’roll in his sound on the new album. Niko does all the aggressive parts and when Ari comes in its really smooth and deep."
The In Sequence - tour took place in Finland in spring 2016.
July 27, 2016 the band announced, signed by all the current members, that they would disband in the beginning of 2017: "It is with heavy hearts that we announce that we've decided to disband Amoral. This was not an easy decision, as this band has been such a huge part of our lives (in the case of Ben and Juhana, for about 19 years!), but yet it felt like it was time. Constantly conflicting schedules and a fading interest in touring in some members have made the band run at half-speed. Amoral is not a ”half-speed” band. It's all or nothing. And, to be honest, the idea of starting something brand new after all this time has become very appealing...." Amoral had an "Old School Tour" in Finland in autumn 2016, where they played only the 3 first albums. The tour was closing the band´s career as it started. The final show took place at Tavastia Club in Helsinki, Finland, January 5, 2017 together with all the members of the band´s history.
- Ben Varon - guitar, song writing, lyrics (1997–2017)
- Ari Koivunen - lead vocals (2008–2017)
- Niko Kalliojärvi - guitar, growls/backing vocals, lyrics (2002–2008, 2015–2017)
- Masi Hukari - guitar, keyboards, song writing (2010–2017)
- Juhana Karlsson - drums (1997–2017)
- Pekka Johansson - bass (2008–2017)
- Silver Ots - guitar, bass
- Erkki Silvennoinen - bass
- Matti Pitkänen - vocals
- Ville Sorvali - bass
- Studio albums
- Wound Creations (2004), Spikefarm
- Decrowning (2005), Spikefarm
- Reptile Ride (2007), Spikefarm
- Show Your Colors (2009), Spinefarm
- Beneath (2011), Imperial Cassette
- Fallen Leaves & Dead Sparrows (2014), Imperial Cassette
- In Sequence (2016), Imperial Cassette
- "Leave Your Dead Behind" (2007)
- "Year of the Suckerpunch" (2009)
- "Gave Up Easy" (2009)
- "Same Difference" (2011)
- "Silhouette" (2011)
- "If Not Here, Where?" (2013)
- "No Familiar Faces" (2014)
- "Rude Awakening" (2015)
- "The Next One To Go" (2016)
- "Amoralweb.com/band". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Amoral Biography". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Interview /w Silver Ots and Niko Kalliojärvi 2003". Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- ""Leave Your Dead Behind" Video 2008". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- ""Year Of The Suckerpunch" Video 2009". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "Juhana Karlsson and Ari Koivunen on video Interview Part 1./3.". Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- "Juhana Karlsson and Ari Koivunen on video Interview Part 2./3.". Retrieved 2009-08-22.
- "Amoral and Silver Ots part ways".
- AMORAL Completes Work On 'Beneath'
- "Silhouette Video 2011". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "Wrapped in Barbwire Video 2012". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "FINNISH METAL AWARDS: Winners Announced - Feb. 18, 2012". Retrieved 2012-02-19.
- "European tour 2012". Retrieved 2012-06-12.
- "Masi Hukari and Ben Varon Interview". Guitarhoo!. Guitarhoo.com. May 1, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Amoral Press Conference in Manila, Philippines". Guitarhoo!. Guitarhoo.com. May 1, 2013. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Interview with Ben Varon 22.1.2014". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "Album reviews 2014". Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
- "Blueprints Video 2014". Retrieved 2014-11-14.
- "10th Year Anniversary Concert Video 3-2014". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "EUROPEAN TOUR 2014 ANNOUNCED". Retrieved 2014-06-13.
- "Pre-production of the 7th album". Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "Amoral is now a six-piece". Retrieved 2015-03-26.
- "Release date announced of In Sequence". Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- "Amoral is now a six-piece". Retrieved 2016-01-19.
- "Finnish tour dates announced". Retrieved 2015-11-27.
- "Finnish tour dates announced". Retrieved 2016-07-27.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amoral (band).|
- Amoral's official website
- Amoral's official Forum 2007 >
- Amoral's official Forum 2005-2007
- Blabbermouth News of Amoral 2004 >[permanent dead link]
- Interview with Ben by Metal Rules 2007
- Interview with Ari Koivunen and Ben Varon of Amoral by FREE! Magazine 2009
- Interview with Amoral (audio) 2012
- Ari Koivunen Interview on Stagereport.ro (May 27, 2013)[permanent dead link]
- Interview with Masi Hukari and Ben Varon guitarists for Amoral (video) May 1, 2013
- Amoral Press Conference in Manila, Philippines (video) May 1, 2013
- Interview with Ben Varon by Rock Brigade 1-2014