Amon Amarth

Album review: Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising

Amon Amarth are a band that’s steadily found themselves over the years, settling on a groovy, big-riff version of Viking death metal. Sure, the all too accessible ‘Twilight Of The Thunder God’ might have put some fans off, but there’s no denying the songs on it were catchy as hell. No points for guessing what they’ve done with a blueprint that isn’t broken.

Amon Amarth Surtur Rising‘Surtur Rising’ is everything any Amon Amarth fan could hope for, and then some. Right from the word go, when ‘War Of The Gods’ kicks in, you know you’re in for one hell of a ride. Johan Hegg’s voice is as spine chilling as ever, the riffs from Johan Söderberg and Olavi Mikkonen are such monolithic lumps of big rumbling chords that you can feel the earth shake beneath you as they blast out of the speakers.

In fact, the album can often sound like it was taken right out of a Metalocalypse episode (and I do mean that as a compliment). Listen to ‘Destroyer Of The Universe’ with your eyes shut and you half-expect to hear Nathan Explosion trying to buy groceries again. Far from being disconcerting, it actually works quite well, because the music is strong enough to carry it off.

It’s not that there is nothing new on ‘Surtur Rising’. Final track ‘Doom Over Dead Man’ is an interesting experiment to marry a slow, doom-laden Amon Amarth riff with an orchestral arrangement. It works for the most part, though it does get a bit much as you draw near the 6-minute mark. That doomy sound is actually present on quite a few songs, such as album highlight ‘The Last Stand Of Frej’ and ‘Töck’s Taunt – Loke’s Treachery Part II’. The tracklisting has been managed well, with slower songs breaking up the faster, thrashier numbers, giving the album a well-paced feel.

On the whole, this is a very strong album from a band that can seemingly do no wrong at the moment. It’s a fun listen even if you’re not a huge Amon Amarth fan, and if you are one then this will blow your mind away. So sit down, grab a few beers and prepare to scream with the Gods!

Rating – 8

     

About Abhijeet Ahluwalia

Abhijeet Ahluwalia – I’m a freelance journalist who goes back and forth between London and Bombay. A huge metalhead, but I have an eclectic taste, from reggae to punk. Oh, and Manchester United are the greatest team in the world. Follow me on Twitter or drop me a line via Email.

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