This is the Amon Amarth album out their for the purists. Its their most raw work of all their albums. Once Sent From The Golden Hall is mostly the sound of their demo/ep days but more matured, talented, and structured. If your looking for a release by Amon Amarth in the likes of The Crusher and Versus The World, this release is definatly not for you. Some consider this to be their best work, I considerate it to be on par with The Crusher, but hard to compare it to that album because they both have sounds different from each other.
A noticable differance on this album as compared to newer Amon Amarth releases, is that Yohan sings with a much deeper voice. On The Crusher and Versus The World Mr. Hegg sings in a more coherant voice that sounds more gargled or that is coming from the back of his throat. On Once Sent From The Golden hall Yohan singing seems to origonate from deep within his throat or stomach. Its a very deep singing style filled with volume. You’ll notice upon listening to this album that he doesn’t limit himself to this style. At times where the music requires a more screaming style vocal, Yohan will sing more from the back of his throat with a sound that is not as deep. It sounds more like he is grasping for air and letting the emotion of the song take him over. As if the lyrics were what was happening to him at this moment and he was singing them to you, showing his heart to you. These moments are few and far between but when they happen its quite amazing and will make for a memorable moment for the listening. I know they give me goosebumps. The majority of the vocals are a more stabble singing style like I desribed before, very deep vocals that have a little rhyrhym to them. They serve very well to deliver the interesting, intense, and enjoyable lyrical themes. The singing can get very emotion at times, usually at the climax of the songs, somewhere in the middle or end. The most noticable vocal work on this album Is done on Ride For Vengeance and Without Fear, perhaps the two most memorable songs on the album. Ride For Vengence starts off fast and strong with the vocals, they deliver alot of intensity and rage. Without Fear has some moments of pure energy and passion when Yohan screams portraying a man dying. Very passionate and moving, he sings as though he is becoming the person in the song, especially in without fear. Vocal work is amazing, bottom line.
The guitar work is equally amazing, with tons of fast complex riffs and great solo’s. The guitars work in an unusual way, the songs on Once Sent From The Golden Hall are not very centralized, so many guitar riffs are not repeated. This makes the songs interesting for that the guitars are ever changing throughout them, riffs are hardly repeated. There will be an attention grabing opening riff in a song, some more riffs throughout it that stand out while there is no singing, and a solo to top it off, all well done. The riffs sometimes take on an apocalyptic feel when they are slow, especially the opening riff of Amon Amarth (track 7). The general guitar work and riffs are heavy and fast. They drums play well with the guitars so the riffs have some added volume. Like I said the guitars don’t carry the songs, they change alot and don’t dictate how a song will sound. Most songs on here are have two main focuses, guitars and riffs, and the vocals. Each do something very interesting and can be apprieciated at the same time, they don’t take a backseat to eachother. The range of the guitars is also to be noted, they can be choppy, heavy, and brutal, and also rhythmic and melodic, or a combination of these adjectives. Most of the time they are heavy or melodic, but they always sound great.
These songs have some very memorable moments, like the Ending of The Dragons’ Flight Across The Waves has an intense and angry vocal chorus. Ride For Vengence will have a very fast a brutal intro that you will never forget and want more of. The middle to end of Amon Amarth becomes very passionate and emotional, the big draw of this song. Without fear has few great and memorable lines about halfway through the song. I would say each song on this album has something you will remember and make you want to listen to it time and time again. More specifically Ride For Vegeance and Without fear will stick in your heads as songs that you will come to this album for. The album starts out strong and goes out fighting (literally). This is for any straight foward death metal fan that likes a more heavy style of death metal. Its not brutal like some bands, but in its own way shows its brutality, mostly through lyrical themes. This album is flawless and timeless.