Amon Amarth
Once Sent from the Golden Hall


3.5
great

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
November 4th, 2007 | 166 replies | 14,219 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A very good debut album that unfortunately suffers from repetitiveness, and inferiority to the albums that followed it.

2 of 4 thought this review was well written

I have been listening to Amon Amarth for a fair while now, but I’d only heard Fate of Norns, Versus the World and their most recent album, With Oden on Our Side. I was a bit disappointed with their newest album, and after I saw that the earlier Amon Amarth albums hadn’t been reviewed I decided to see where it all began.

Once Sent from the Golden Hall is Amon Amarth’s debut LP, released after a successful EP entitled Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds. When I first began listening I expected the sound to be undeveloped and not really similar to Amon Amarth’s sound now, but I was taken aback. It was very energetic, very Viking, and absolutely saturated with melody. My favourite sub-genre is melodic death metal, and I was very impressed with this album. It bears all the trademarks that are commonly associated with Amon Amarth, such as pounding drums, excellent vocal performances by Johan Hegg, and consistently good guitar work by both guitarists. Hegg’s vocals are very distinctive, and it almost seems like he isn’t growling, but his voice actually sounds like this. He has a good range, and can emit incredibly low and guttural growls.

I noticed that this album also has something which wasn’t really on Versus the World, or With Oden on Our Side, and that is Hegg mixes his harsh vocals with a sort of rough yelling which is very fitting with the Viking theme. Another difference I noted was that Amon Amarth’s songs have become generally shorter and shorter each album they have made. The shortest song on Once Sent From the Golden Hall is four and a half minutes long, and there are two (approximately) 8 minute tracks as well. Personally, I enjoyed the songs Ride for Vengeance, a vicious and unrelenting song that blasts its way through to a tremendous finale, and Without Fear, which just has a melody that sits very well with me. There are definitely other good songs on here (as they are all very similar), but those two are the ones that stuck out most to me.

I’ve already mentioned this before, but the music Amon Amarth plays is just perfect for their Viking theme. However, I’m quite certain the real Vikings didn’t play heavy metal, but the imagery Amon Amarth provides us is contributed to by both the lyrics and music. Every song is an epic on this album, especially both of the longer tracks, titled Amon Amarth and Once Sent from the Golden Hall. There is epic riffing, epic lyrics dealing with brave courageous warriors going to battle, and some sort of trick which causes involuntary head movement. If you look past the music and lyrics, every beat in this album can be head-banged to. Amon Amarth is definitely a good reason to grow your hair long.

From my own experience and from what others have told me, each Amon Amarth album has been a solid release, but the band has not differed in their style very much in their illustrious 6 album history. This can be looked at from two different perspectives: the melodic metal/Amon Amarth purist would consider it a good thing, the band is keeping true to themselves. However, more casual listeners would find that owning every Amon Amarth album is just having more of the same thing. The songs on Once Sent from the Golden Hall are all good, but there isn’t anything on here that would warrant you to buy this rather than Versus the World. Versus the World is, overall, a better album, and is basically the same thing but delivered in a better way. The downfall of Once Sent from the Golden Hall is that it is very repetitive. I also believe this to be the case on all Amon Amarth albums, and depending on your bias towards the band, can be either a good or a bad thing. Most of the songs blend into the same sound, and I wouldn’t think that anyone would have a good time listening to Once Sent from the Golden Hall for a long period of time, let alone any Amon Amarth album.

That said this is still a very solid release and paved the way for Amon Amarth to become the band they are now. If you are a huge fan of Amon Amarth, add 0.5 to the score. If you are looking to get into Amon Amarth, or are just a casual listener take off 0.5 and get Versus the World instead.

Pros:
- Hegg’s vocals
- Some memorable melodies
- Vikings are cool

Cons:
- A lot of repetition, therefore not much longevity
- More recent albums are just better versions of this



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Confessed2005
November 4th 2007



3314 Comments


Good review. Band are great live.

foreverendeared
November 4th 2007



14678 Comments


good review. i've only heard With Oden On Our Side but i f*cking love that album

Yazz_Flute
November 4th 2007



18734 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

penisThis Message Edited On 09.03.08

Digging: Anekdoten - Vemod

Angmar
November 4th 2007



2689 Comments


This album isn't more repetitive than any of their other albums :-/ I personally think it is their best tbh.

rasputin
November 5th 2007



14504 Comments


Angmar: I know where you're coming from, and I did mention in the review that all amon amarth albums suffer from the same thing, a lack of diversity. I think this has stopped them being so popular, becuase if you don't like the sound of one of the albums you won't like the sound of any of the others. That said, if you like one, then you'll most likely like the rest. I also believe that all the albums are very similar in terms of quality, so it's understandable that you like this one more than the others.

I think it's a very good thing for a band to be so consistent. Bands release good albums then they release something totally rubbish, and it reallys takes away from their musical credibility. Amon Amarth are a solid band though, and have released 6 decent albums. I've recently listened some of their other albums, such as the Avenger, and is as good as this one.

Slaytan
November 5th 2007



1186 Comments


I just heard this for the first time the whole way through the other day, and it's really a testament to how much Amon Amarth have progressed...good album overall though.

Gmaj
November 10th 2007



30 Comments


One of their best best and most certainly their heaviest. AA rocks. Good review.

Yazz_Flute
September 3rd 2008



18734 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

holy shit I did not expect this album to be this awesome

myhigherpie
November 12th 2008



3027 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this album. It is very repetitive though. It does have some very surprising melodies though. Catchy riffs. Its cool to see Johan's vocals were still just as awesome during their auspicious start as they are now.

I give this a four, mainly because of the classic factor that comes with it, but it does not compare to their later works. especially that of my favorite, versus the world.This Message Edited On 11.12.08

Poet
March 12th 2009



5910 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Without Fear's ending is like one of the best riffs I've ever heard.

Altmer
March 19th 2009



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

some weak moments in the second half but good album

BallsToTheWall
June 2nd 2009



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Classy as hell.

Giblover
November 4th 2009



35 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album, I didn't find it very repetitive at all. At least not as bad as their later releases, on that note Twilight of the Thundergod is pretty diverse too with only a few tracks that are relativly close

MO
March 18th 2011



17340 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"The Dragons' Flight across the Waves" is so good...plus Victorious March?? Best Amon Amarth

Digging: Soundtrack - Turok 2: Seeds of Evil OST

demigod!
March 18th 2011



40970 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Victorious March is fucking amazing, yeah. Might be my favourite song by them.

Hawks
May 27th 2011



33352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album isn't more repetitive than any of their other albums :-/

This comment is almost 4 years old, but I completely agree with it. They've always been like this, they just enhanced their sound a little on more recent albums. This one is still awesome.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2011



15977 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Siegreicher Marsch" fucking destroys the English version.

Digging: Tiamat - Wildhoney

MetalMartin
August 15th 2011



64 Comments


Ok. When you listen to AA, it's not that repetitve. The "texture" of the music is though. That's their sound. But if you pay attention, a lot of things are different. The solos, the drumming, the mood... But it's subtle. And yeah, I'm biased because I like this band a lot. But I can tell that each album has it's own thing. And it's Amon Amarth and they won't change. Can we blame them for consistency? Plus they're awesome live. That's a sign of good band.

Valerius
September 22nd 2011



1137 Comments


Row like the wind to attaaaack!
Attaaaaaack!
Attack!
Attack!
Row like the wind to attaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!

Thanks for the review, rasputin.

Their fastest and most rage-filled album, as well as their best mastered album, although none are mastered that well. I like all of their albums, but this one is definitely a different flavor and an acquired taste. Therefore your comment that more recent albums are just better versions of this is simply not true, this album is quite different from later releases. Most notably the drums and the vocals, and the overall tone of this album.

And please stop bashing for repetition. Not just you, but I've seen others mark off for that. They have as much diversity as I want, and most others want from how well they have done. I want a death metal album that delivers, and Amon Amarth have done that every album. Your comment that you wouldn't think anyone would have a good time listening to Once Sent from the Golden Hall, or any Amon Amarth album, for a long period of time I find completely stupid, LOL. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but to project opinions on others and claim to be a mind reader is the epitome of ignorance.

rasputin
September 23rd 2011



14504 Comments


lol

ignorance stems from being dumb enough to be able to listen to an amon amarth album repeatedly, actually



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