It does not come often that I award 5 stars to an album, and when I do it means that I have found something truly special! Although initially averted from the sound, I gave these Swedes a chance and was thoroughly rewarded with one of the best metal recordings I have found in a long time.At first listen, Amon Amarth’s music may sound like a buch of noise (I originally made this mistake). But when one listens to the works, it is evident that a lot of intelligent composition has been drawn upon to write these great pieces. Instead of relying on a lead guitarist and synths for melody (as in the great Children of Bodom), Amon Amarth form complex melodies via the clever use of chords. And these are not your grandfather’s chords either! The progressions are lenghty and quite melodical. Amon Amarth have definitely one of the deepest and fullest sounds in the Euro metal scene today…’The Avenger’ is Amon Amarth’s sophomore release and continues to build on the great debut ‘Once Sent From the Golden Halls.’ Now, I will refrain from basing my review on the core beliefs of the band’s members as they really do not have anything to do with the music (vocals are another matter- intelligent discourse on Pagan beliefs, frustrations, mythology, etc).I am currently listening to “North Sea Storm” and cannot help but smile at the beauty of brutality! The song has about three or four different movements and a handful of melodic paces. “Bleed for Ancient Gods”, “The Last With Pagan Blood”, “God, His Son and Holy Whore” are other songs that stand the test of time. The only song I don’t have much attachment to, though, is the title track “Avenger.”I pride myself on being one to go out and give countless unheard metal talent a chance in case of finding hidden treasures! This album is definitely a motherload of great music and I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great new band… and Amon Amarth have not even reached their peak yet!