Amon Amarth have proven to be forbearers of the Metal scene since their appearance in 1992. It is only appropriate that we pay tribute as their 20th anniversary looms. Their music, both lyrically and harmonically, is inspired by tales of Vikings and their pantheon of Norse gods – a ripe talking point since the release of the Avengers earlier this summer. For those of you keen to take up your horn, that being a Viking drinking device rather than a poorly timed euphemism, a list of Germanic Deities is a solid starting point!
Following Twilight of a Thunder God, arguably Amon Amarth’s best album to date, was always a monumental challenge. Interestingly enough, Johan Hegg and his Norsemen, clearly not ready to let the mantle rest, have forged together to bring us Surtur Rising. Epitomising what they strive for – a sound that is unique, providing deep vocals and a storm of well-timed bass that would make proud the god of thunder himself. Yet they retain an air of melodiousness, so much so to have found myself whistling my own acoustic version of a tune or two. With lyrics to boot, there will be plenty an opportune moment to bang heads as War of the Gods and A Beast I Am emanate godly tales from your speakers. With sections of clear lead guitar and distinctive melodies to counteract the maelstrom, the band lay a distinctive pathway for the listener to follow, culminating with Doom Over Dead Man – a sonic feast large enough to fill the halls of Valhalla itself!
Those investing in vinyl will be rewarded when arriving at the last track, Doom Over Dead Man. The track is purportedly 7:32; however, actually skipping to the track or ripping it produces a song that’s 5:55. An instrumental can be found lurking in the pre-gap between songs 9 and 10 that can only be heard by playing straight through. Enjoy!