Esa Holopainen is the lead guitarist and primary songwriter for Finnish metal royalty, Amorphis, so it should come as no surprise the man is a talented musician. With Silver Lake, however, Holopainen really flexes his talents, working with a roster of hugely talented and iconic vocalists and creating an amazing album of standout tracks.

While the musical similarities to Amorphis are present, and to be expected, it’s Holopainen’s ability to morph and meld his writing style to feel like something new, a fusion of the worlds of both songwriter and singer. It’s this shifting style that makes Silver Lake something far from predictable.

And while each song is a unique and singular collaboration, the albums doesn’t wind up feeling disjointed. Almost effortlessly (or so it seems), Silver Lake is a cohesive work, flowing beautifully from start to finish.

Guest vocalists include Leprous frontman, Einar Solberg, who brings some of that same ethereal passion as is found in his band, and Katatonia’s Jonas Renske whose signature gothic vocal melodies feature on two tracks. Of course, Holopainen’s band mate, Tomi Joutsen, obviously leads to the most Amorphis-like track on the album, but even then it is something unique and fresh.

Thanks yo his work with Amorphis, it was already clear that Esa Holopainen was an incredibly talented songwriter. His ability to create unique sonic landscapes to perfectly suit a specific vocalist, however, is something I am hoping is showcased further. A Silver Lake sequel perhaps?