Some saturday afternoon of 1993 I was, as usual, digging through New Zabrinskie Point's grind/ death/ black metal lps crate, looking for a way to spend the few money I've saved during the week. Instead of buying bus tickets or food, I used to save every lira I got to buy an lp during the weekend. I had just discovered death metal a few months earlier and everything was new and exciting to me and my friends. We usually bought records basing ourselves solely on how cool an album cover was or on the sporadic suggestion of older metalheads that were lurking around the shop. I bumped into a copy of Amorphis debut lp "the karelian isthmus" and was immediately intrigued by it. I liked the logo & the artwork and the guys on the back cover looked cool as fuck. Then I timidly asked to Stiv (the shop owner) if he could play it for me. While he usually blasted only Oi! or hardcore bands (and I've always suspected he hated metal in general), he was always extremely kind and friendly and played whatever we asked him. After the melancholic intro, "the gathering" erupted in all its slow brutality and a few seconds later I was immediately a devoted fan of this unknown finnish band. Flash forward to one year later. As soon as I found they just released a new album titled "tales of the thousand lakes", I immediately bought it. Of course again on vinyl simply 'coz back then they were cheaper than cds. Loved every single notes out of it just like every one else. While being weird and experimental, it was still brutal as fuck death metal! Expectation for the following album were of course high but when "elegy" came out in 1996, I was extremely disappointed. It wasn't metal enough for me and I simply lost interest in the band.
Recently I've been playing Amorphis first two full lengths a lot. While checking their discography on discogs, I've discovered their ep from 1993 titled "privilege of evil" that I've never heard of back then. It has just being reissued by Relapse in 2013 for the very first time on vinyl. After a quick listening on youtube, I immediately ordered a copy. While it came out one year after "the karelian isthmus", it has been originally recorded one year before it and was supposed to be a split lp with Incantation (!!). Here Amorphis doomish death metal was extremely raw and the melodies that characterized their sound were just outlined. The result indeed is not too far from other finnish death metal institutions from the same era (Demigod, Convulse & Disgrace above all). Three of these tracks are indeed a rougher version of songs that would be featured on their debut full length. Cherry on top, an Abhorrence cover, "vulgar necrolatry" with Jukka Kolehmainen (Abhorrence singer) doing vocals!! While you basically get only 2 unreleased tracks, this is an essential listening for all early finnish death metal maniacs!