After the truly remarkable ‘With Oden on Our Side’, I was eagerly awaiting the next offering from Amon Amarth. So after receiving the new album I was somewhat dumbfounded to find it of quite a different caliber indeed! In spite of several listens I just do not enjoy it at all, and find the songs uninteresting musically and thematically, they seem to drone along without significant development. While the bands’ playing is good as usual, the addition of guest players seems not to have helped at all – in fact quite the reverse, with sound type changes that appear obviously out of character jumping out at you, disrupting the integrity of the songs. All up, a disappointing next album – get ‘With Oden on Our Side’ if new to this band.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Twilight Of The Thunder God was a very nice album, I find this new offering from Amon to be very enjoyable. It has some amazing songs and my favorites being Varyags of Miklagaard, Twilight Of The Thunder God, Guardians Of Asgaard and Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags while not as perfect as their previous album With Oden On Our Side. With Oden on Our Side was such a solid album which made it harder for them to top it off, I mean don’t get me wrong this was still a brilliant album and the addition of guest musicians like Apocaliptica, Lars Petrov from Entombed and Roope Latvala from Children of Bodom which in my opinion was quite impressive made the whole album feel more epic. Johan Hegg outdoes himself once again on vocals, and the riffs growl and stomp like charging vikings. This latest album also sees guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg raising their game to new highs, something that pushes the album on to another level. What else can I say, this album is just incredible and is up there with Versus the World if not better. I have just started to become a fan and will listen to anything these guys make since they have been consistently good and have improved with each subsequent release, but then this album came out and managed to blow me away. The melodies are just awesome and the guitars have a new sound that is amazing, The epic melodies, relentless pounding and Norse growls are mightier than ever and the lyrics were fantastic. For those who like me, are looking for more of Amon Amarth’s inimitable take on melodic death metal, Twilight of the Thunder God will render you nothing short of ecstatic with great headbanging metal anthems like Guardian’s Of Asgaard, and Twilight Of The Thunder God is also no exception. With such a catchy lead melody, triumphant chorus, and epic guitar solo, this track just kicks so much a**. This is definitely a must have album and one of the best metal albums of 2008, Amon Amarth rules! check it out.
Well, like most people I had high expectations for this album after their previous album “With Oden on our Side” which was regarded by many to be their best work to date. This album blew me away. Granted it’s not a dark as WOooS but it is WAY more melodic. They have really taken their songwriting to the next level. I love basically every track, though their are some that kind of stand above the rest, but all are more than worthy of many, many listens. I personally have listened to the entire disc like 50 times already, it’s like crack to me it’s just so damn good.
Here’s some ratings for ya
1. Twilight of the Thunder God – 9/10 Nice track and a good choice for a single
2. Free Will Sacrifice – 10/10 Excellent track, I find the riffs really catchy along with the humming or w/e in the background. On top of that the lyrics are sweet, kind of in a similar vein to the title track of the last album
3. Guardians of Asgaard – 10/10 Catchy as hell, will have you singing along for sure. This will most likely become one of the concert faves and makes a good “theme song” for the band, much like songs such as Versus the World, etc.
4. Where is Your God – 9/10 This track kind sticks out because it doesn’t have the rolling epic feel of the other tracks, just straight up pummeling and it’s good.
5. Varyags of Miklagaard – 10/10 One of my favorite tracks, melodic as hell. Song is about Varangian mercenaries that served the Byzantine Empire during the Middle Ages, they were universally renowned for their skill in battle and sheer ferocity.
6. Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags – 10/10 THIS is my favorite song on the whole cd. Basically chronicles the events immediately preceding the climactic battle during Ragnarok, Loki leading the dead to fight the Aesir, Fenris breaking free of his bonds, Surtr and the giants of Muspelheim riding over the Bifrost bridge and engulfing the middle world (midgaard) in flames, etc. Would have really been nice if they actually including the battle in the lyrics but maybe they’re saving that for a future song
7. No Fear for the Setting Sun – 9/10 This song really gets my blood pumping hehe, has a nice somewhat fast tempo and the chorus is memorable. The solo is pretty decent as well.
8. The Hero – 9/10 Another quality track, not much to really say about this one, basically about a mercenary wondering why people actually care for him as he lay dying from trying to defend them.
9. Live for the Kill – 10/10 Awesome track comparing warriors to wolves basically and the cello bit near the end really adds a nice touch. Another nice solo in this song as well.
10. Embrace of the Endless Ocean – 10/10 Second favorite song on the disc, will go down as one of their best songs. This is by far the best track to close the album with.
In summary this album is nothing short of a masterpiece, while some may like WOooS better for it’s darker atmosphere, I see this as their capstone album or the “album of their career”. If they keep pushing quality stuff like this they are going to cement their place as one of the best metal bands of all time.
What a beautiful album this is. this could very well be my new favorite AA cd. i cant stop listening to it. great diverse blend of old and new styles and everything in between. can listen to this album straight through without skipping over any filler tracks, and ive done just that several times a day since it arrived last week. beautiful production. every instrument is crystal clear. Hegg’s vocals sound amazing. if you’re any kind of AA fan this album shouldnt disappoint cuz it has a little of everything on it. if you like super heavy brutal, there is “where is your God?”. if you like sing along arena songs, there is “Guardians of Asgaard” which is sure to be a concert favorite for years to come. if you like the classic AA sound, there is “Varyags of Miklagaard” which is my personal favorite. if you like galloping battle songs, then “tattered banners and bloody flags” is for you.
just when the cd is over and you dont think anything could be better than this, you pop in the free DVD and get your butt kicked once again. yes a FREE DVD. and its not some bootleg low quality drivel that other bands might through in just to get sales. this is a professionally done full concert. it is just over an hour long. crystal clear footage, letterboxed for your widescreen viewing enjoyment. 5.1 surround sound. beautiful. features many songs from their last album “with oden on our side”. they could have easily sold this concert DVD seperate and the fans would buy it. but no. AA gives it to you for free. thats what kind of band this is.
so if you are a long time AA fan, this wont disappoint you. if you wanna get into AA for the first time there is no reason why you shouldnt start here cuz you get a great album showcasing their style as well as the DVD which contains some of their older songs.
I have always considered Metallica as my overall favorite band (yes this is an Amon Amrth review). Then there has been the last 15 years and my confidence in my favorite band choice has been tarnished. The “Black” album was the twilight and the subsequent years brought only darkness and despair. There has recently been light again with “Death Magnetic” but let’s get back to the twilight.
A few years ago I began expanding my metal horizons and discovered bands like Ensiferum, Turisas, Einherjer, Unleashed, Wintersun and Tyr to name just a few. Somewhere between Ensiferum and Turisas I picked up the album “Fate of Norns” by Amon Amarth (translated as Mount Doom for all you Tolkien fans). Now, I am of Norwegian heritage, and vikings hold a special place in my heart. “Fate of Norns” blew me away. It perfectly combined my love of all things metal and my love of all things viking. I had found the perfect band. I had to check out their previous work…
It turns out that “Fate of Norns” was the fifth full length album our friends from Sweden had released. Their previous efforts, “Once Sent From the Golden Hall”, “The Crusher”, “The Avenger” and “Versus the World” beckoned me. The first three albums were more stright forward death metal with a hint, here and there, of what was to come. “Versus the World” saw a change in the band, with a much more melodic texture over the double bass, pounding death metal machine underneath. It is also where Johan Hegg, the bands prodigiously bearded lead singer, hit his stride. Hegg is, quite frankly, amazing. I have failed to find another lead with such a powerful, growling voice who you can actually understand! Every freakin’ word, clear as a bell, well at least to a semi-trained ear! So, I was hooked. “Versus the World” was even better then “Fate of Norns” and I began to wait for their next release…
In 2006 Amon Amarth released “With Oden on Our Side” to the world. To say the least, I was not disappointed. It was, I believe, better then “Fate of Norns” and in some ways better than “Versus the World”. So, now here is a band that I have elevated to near the top of my all time favorite bands list and I read that they have signed a new three album deal. I start to worry. Is it the beginning of a sellout? There are guest appearances on the new album. Uh oh. They announce a special addition of “Twilight of the Thunder God” with a comic book and bobble head dolls. I start to panic! I want them to be more popular (in the U.S.) but will they just release garbage from here on out? It has happened to my favorite band before…..
…and then I hear the new album. Phew!!! It is a masterpiece!!! It is the band’s best album of the seven they have now released. It has mid-tempo melodic tracks, specifically “Varyags of Miklagaard”, “Free Will Sacrifice” and “Live for the Kill”. The title track is brutal and has a short but outstanding guitar solo by Children of Bodom guitarist Roope Latvala. “Guardians of Asgaard” will stick in your head, well, for a long, long time. You could lead an army into battle with “Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags”. And then there is “Where is your God?”. Here you cannot really understand Mr. Hegg. But all is forgiven because Amon delivers almost four minutes of pure, unadulterated viking brutality! The first time I heard it I shed a tear, a tear of joy for it is truly hardcore (“Asator” on crack).
So, Amon Amarth delivered. Their string of awesomeness is unbroken. I will now enjoy an even larger library of melodic, brutal viking death metal. And then I will wait. Wait with apprehension for their next album. Will they pull it off again? I believe they have the gods on their side. If you have any interest at all in death metal, melodic death metal, metal, vikings, head banging, moshing, etc. you owe it to yourself to at least try listening to Amon Amarth. I guarantee you will find something you like.
Hail to the mighty Amon Amarth!