Amon Amarth
Twilight of the Thunder God


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
September 16th, 2008 | 539 replies | 51,073 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Twilight of the Thunder God is simply a fun listen, and one of the most exciting metal albums of the year.

It's kind of hard not to like Amon Amarth. While it's undeniable that the Swedes have hardly deviated from their tried and true formula over the past sixteen years, the band just kicks so much ass that the lack of progression isn't difficult to overlook. Factor in their constant improvement as well as the overall fun-ness (for lack of better term), and not even the band's ridiculously 'metal' image is off-putting. What separates Amon Amarth from a band like Motorhead, who release the same good album every other year, or a DragonForce/ACDC-type band that has written perhaps three songs over their careers, is that Amon Amarth manage to somehow stay fresh and interesting. Unsurprisingly, Twilight of the Thunder God does little to alter such sentiments.

Indeed, most should be aware by now of Amon Amarth's formula. Guitar-centric melodic death metal (you know, the kind with actual death metal) makes up the bulk of Twilight of the Thunder God, backed up by Norse lyrical themes, though fortunately without the folky melodies of your typical Viking metal band. That isn't to say that medieval passages fail to pervade the album's forty-three minute runtime; "Varyags of Miklagaard" and "Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags" each feature such melodies, but in both cases it's more of a subtle theme than anything else. Regardless, the blistering rhythm guitar tandem of Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg is much more prominent. The virtual backbone of Amon Amarth's sound, Mikkonen and Soderberg maintain an extremely accessible tone without sacrificing their aggression. Guitar harmonies accentuate the heavy riffing throughout much of Twilight of the Thunder God, and play a vital role in closing track, "Embrace of the Endless Ocean", a solemn piece more akin to Dark Tranquillity than anything else on the album. On the flipside, with "Where is Your God?" and parts of "Free Will Sacrifice", Amon Amarth opts for a more straight up death metal, with excellent results. Vocalist Johan Hegg is especially impressive in "Where is Your God?", leading the way with his rather frenzied, energetic growls. The remainder of the album simply ties the two styles together, highlighted by the anthemic title track and "The Hero", particularly the former, which is among the year's strongest opening tracks.

Alongside With Oden on Our Side, Twilight of the Thunder God just might be the strongest record Amon Amarth has written thus far. Certainly, it's essentially the same as all the rest of their albums, but it manages to get by without sounding redundant or stagnant. And this is certainly more than most of their contemporaries can attest to, there's no denying that. All in all, Twilight of the Thunder God is simply a fun listen, and one of the most exciting metal albums of the year, nothing more, nothing less. Considering that that is most likely all that Amon Amarth set out to do, they've passed with flying colours.



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user ratings (1211)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
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    And just when you thought no more rape could be done and no more mead could be quaffed......

    Dreamerdude26 (3)
    Do I think this album is awful ? No, it just lacks a lot of the emotion and intensity that...

    Kit Brown (4)
    Nothing you haven’t heard already, but who’s complaining?...

    rasputin (3.5)
    While still keeping things basic, Amon Amarth deliver the most polished and consistent alb...

  • Meatplow (3.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
September 16th 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, from what I heard of the album rules. But which track features the cello from Apocalyptica?This Message Edited On 09.16.08

Hawks
September 16th 2008



34293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is by far my favorite Amon Amarth album.

Digging: Mayhem - Esoteric Warfare

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 16th 2008



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is my favourite from them too, but With Oden On Our Side is close

But which track features the cello from Apocalyptica?
Live for the KillThis Message Edited On 09.16.08

Essence
September 16th 2008



3577 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Forgot a word in the last paragraph here:
[quote=review]And this certainly more than most of their contemporaries can attest to, there's no denying that.[/quote]

Good job! I can't wait to hear this.

Yazz_Flute
September 16th 2008



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Live For the Kill probably the best song here (either that or Embrace of the Endless Ocean)

Digging: Cormorant - Dwellings

Mikesn
Emeritus
September 16th 2008



3709 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Embrace of the Endless Ocean is the best song, but the title track is my favourite. The chorus kicks so much ass.

willfellmarsy
September 16th 2008



3849 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is solid, where is your god and the hero are both fantastic, still lol at #1 for 2008

Hawks
September 16th 2008



34293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I would say Embrace of the Endless Ocean is the best too. That song is so fucking epic.

iamthenightmare
September 16th 2008



754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that riff in tattered banners and bloody flags gets me going every time. that and twightlight are by far my favorites on here.

im glad these guys dont try to progress. every album just builds up the fun

Essence
September 16th 2008



3577 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their lead singer is a viking back from the dead. I swear. He's terrifying.

Hawks
September 16th 2008



34293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Terrifying, but awesome. I'm happy that I've finally found an Amon Amarth album that I'm probably going to be able to listen to for a while. Most of their other albums get really boring.

Essence
September 16th 2008



3577 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I know, I meant terrifying awesome. Like, that is the last guy in the world who I would want to piss off, for fear of getting my city raped and pillaged by an angry norseman.

Yazz_Flute
September 16th 2008



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think he's pretty damn sexy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Amon_Amarth-Johan_Hegg-
1128.jpg

that riff in tattered banners and bloody flags gets me going every
time.


I agree, love the opening riff, but imo it loses a bit of it's oopmh after that, and is
one of the overall weaker tracks imo.

And I really love that insanely high pitched harmonized guitar part that lasts like 2
seconds right before the solo in the title track starts. Whenever I think of this
album, that short high part is the first thing i think of.This Message Edited On 09.16.08This Message Edited On 09.16.08

Hawks
September 16th 2008



34293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I agree, love the opening riff, but imo it loses a bit of it's oopmh after that, and is
one of the overall weaker tracks imo.

I agree.This Message Edited On 09.16.08

iamthenightmare
September 16th 2008



754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea, i guess you could call it a weaker track, i just feel the whole album is consistently great and that track in particular stands out.

but Twilight FTW though!! am i right??

Hawks
September 16th 2008



34293 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Its really hard to pick favorites because the whole album is great. After Embrace of the Endless Ocean I really don't know what would come next for me. They're all pretty equal in greatness.

iamthenightmare
September 16th 2008



754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

aint nothin wrong with that

fireaboveicebelow
September 16th 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did anyone else preorder this with the dvd and LP and poster?

Thor
September 16th 2008



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice, expect my review soon enough.

Yazz_Flute
September 16th 2008



18764 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'd probably order it something like this:

1. Embrace of the Endless Ocean
2. Live For the Kill
3. Twilight of the Thunder God
4. Where is your God?
5. The Hero
6. No Fear For the Setting Sun
7. Varyags of Miklagaard
8. Free Will Sacrifice
9. Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags
10. Guardians of Asgaard



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