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Formed in Helsinki, Finland, in 1990, Amorphis was originally conceived by guitarist Esa Holopainen and drummer/synthesizer player Jan Rechberger, who recruited vocalist and guitarist Tomi Koivusaari and bass player Olli-Pekka Laine. On the strength of their demo tape Disment Of Soul they secured a multi-album recording contract with Relapse Records, famed for their catalogue of American grind bands. In December 1991 the band recorded six tracks for a shared album with labelmates Incantation, but the record was never actually released. Two tracks appeared on a limited-edition 7-inch single.
In May 1992, the quartet travelled to Stockholm, Sweden, to record 11 tracks for their debut album, The Karelian Isthmus, with engineer/producer Tomas Skogsberg. A crushing demonstration of state-of-the-art death metal, the dramatic atmosphere of the songs was further enhanced by the addition of keyboard player Kasper Martenson. In the wake of the success...