First off, I’m not a death metal aficionado. If you have read my review on “With Oden on Our Side” you’ll know that Amon Amarth was my first real purchase in the Death Metal genre. I was attracted to them because the music in the snippets I’d heard was just the kind of thing I like. Aggressive, rough even, but beautifully melodic. It helped that Johan Hegg’s vocals are incredibly easy to understand as he enunciates his growls and sings very rhythmically.
I’d read some of the early reviews on Metal sites about this CD, and snapped it up. While “With Oden on Our Side” had a few songs which really stuck out for me, and a couple which later elevated themselves on further listenings, “Twilight of the Thunder God” strikes me as an even more consistently melodic CD. The music is never pushed to the background by the vocals and usually takes the forefront. I’m listening to it yet again right now, and am reminded that there are even some guitar solos which wouldn’t be out of place on traditional heavy metal or power metal CDs.
One other thing I really like about the music is that it’s heavy and textured. Some other melodic death metal that I thought I might like left me a bit cold, and it was usually a combination of the singer being too dominant and the music sounding a bit thin. There’s definitely a strong bass element here which works very nicely.
While the songs rarely tend to be extremely fast (most would fall squarely into ‘mid tempo’ with a couple of faster songs), different emphasis on drums or guitars make most of them feel unique. I really don’t have any favorites yet, but overall I like it significantly more than their previous effort.
The special edition has a bonus DVD with some live performances that rounds out an already great package.