Amon Amarth - Fate Of Norns
Swedish death metal act Amon Amarth have since the debut Once Sent From The Golden Hall (1997), steadily built a name for themselves in the scene, and has built a solid fan base up to the lastest gold nugget Versus The World (2002), which really is their peak performance so far. What can their new album Fate Of Norns offer to follow up the success?
Well, the music continues in pretty much the same shape. I guess you have to call it Death Metal, but piece by piece that element has decreased by time, and can now best be described as metal based on heavy riffs, with a touch of the new wave of swedish death metal, containing a lot of guitar melodies. It is all topped with traditional death metal vocals, and without those it would basically be just very heavy metal. The songs and their style is immedialty recognised from what we have heard before, and no real new ideas or elements are being implemented. So far, so good, since they know how to write a good and catchy song, but the overall impression of this, is that it's a bit too colour- and edgeless, and from time to time boring.
There are some good pieces spead out throughout this album, but it overall impression is that it tend to float together to a dull mess most of the times. While Versus The World was rich and juicy, with great riffs and perfectly varied songs, this album sounds dry, naked and sterile, both production wise, and also regarding the song material. The tempo has decreased slightly, and the velocity in which they travel from beginning to the end is almost constant.
They have never made themselves a name in the business of being especially innovative and intricate when it comes to varying themselves, but previously they have at least managed to stay well away from the point where the word "monotone" comes to mind. With this release it's unfortunatly too much of the exact same midtempo riffing with a catchy, rolling guitarlead to show the way. The name Bolt Thrower comes to mind, regarding the way that they just grinds on in the same, groovy tempo and just crushes everything in their way. It is far from that heavy, though, but that just to give you an idea of the lack on differences in tempo. It works just fine for some bands, but unfortunatly less good for Amon Amarth.
A good album, undisputably containing some good metal, but a bit to weak compared to earlier releases and it does not feel like something I will play excessivly in the future. The previous albums will continue to spin some more instead.