The past years have been extremely fruitful for Amon Amarth and ever since their real break with With Oden On Our Side they have gained more and more popularity and everything has grown in their camp with massive touring ever since. The time has now come to follow up the magnificent album Twilight Of The Thunder God from 2008.
It's safe to say that any Amon Amarth fan will recognise this and I'll be damned if even a single one of them will not appreciate it. The core and the formula is the same, the production is familiar and we get a ton of great riffs and leads served on a plate. I have a very hard time seeing Amon Amarth deviate especially much from their beaten path, that would simply be weird.
I have read in some early reviews of this album that it should be a bit more hard to take in and that it's more of a grower than ever before. I can not really agree with that. I am sure that it will grow by time, since it is a bit more multi-layered this time, but it is direct enough to hit it right away, at least in my book.
There is an overall feeling of a slightly slower pace on this abum, even though they have two songs that partly belong to the fastest they have done in modern time. The sense for melodies are intact as well as the skills to weave everything together with a perfect groove.
This band has an enormous capability to forge songs that sound fresh, inspired and captivating from the same concept time and time again. However, and surprisingly, I do not feel that any song apart from the brilliant opener War Of The Gods is a real and complete killer. There are many songs, almost all of them, that have several magnificent parts, riffs or leads, but as a whole they don't really hit the full jackpot. Destroyer Of The Universe is the one that comes closest. But the lowest level is so extremely high when it comes to Amon Amarth that, despite this, the whole album works great and radiates solid quality.
If I should compare this album to any of the most recent ones, I would say that it leans a bit more towards With Oden On Our Side than any other, but it is a logical and expected continuation of all the past ones.
A light and fresh but still juicy production, a multitude of great licks and riffs which the songs as always roll along and are being carried forward upon, and a vocalist who are just magnificent and at the moment on top of his abilities; a winning recipe. This is another high quality release from Amon Amarth, just not really there hand in hand with Twilight Of The Thunder God but only a few steps behind, clearly within eye- and earsight.