Today might be a historic day. I'm about to get fanboy in a review. Not too many bands these days can I honestly say that it would be extremely difficult to disappoint me in any way. Amon Amarth is one of those bands. While I'm not a big fan of the earlier works from the 90's I have grown to love the direction Amon Amarth has taken over the past five releases. And yes I'm counting Surtur Rising in that list. Some of the complaints I've seen has been that AA has become samey or there is pining for the old days. Well for those people with those complaints, I say to you. Pick up Surtur Rising. Here's why after the jump.
With this release there is a mixture of the more recent melodic albums but there is evidence of the previous releases like 'The Avenger' and 'The Crusher'. Johann Hegg doesn't have a wide range on his vocals. He's either guttural on his growls or ragged with screams and both styles are prominent on this album. And the songs themselves have either the more melodic touches like 'War of the Gods' or more brutal tracks like Tock's Taunt. For those with the samey complaints you even get a couple of tracks that are far and away different anything Amon Amarth has done before. With lyrical content that strays away from Norse mythology to a more contemporary theme in 'Slaves of Fear' to dare I say a synth heavy almost power metal tune in 'Victory or Death' Amon Amarth is continuing to show growth in their music.
Musically the rest of the band has grown especially in the rhythm department. From ripping thrash tunes like 'A Beast Am I' to a more doomish style on 'the Last Stand of Frej' there should be a nice balance of styles to please most death metal fans. If not then enjoy your one dimensional world of music. The production on this album is once again fantastic. Every aspect of each song is clear and coherent and punishing. Just like Amon Amarth should be. Do yourself a favor. On March 29th go out and buy this album. If you're already a Amon Amarth fan you're going to love this. If you were once a fan then give this a shot. Hell if you're not a fan but love death metal try it out for size.
My score: 9 sins out of 10
Here are a couple of tracks that have released so far so you can get an idea of what to expect.
And here is the song 'Victory or Death' I referenced earlier and just got released. You want different check out the keyboard line.