Review Summary: Ride to meet your fate, your destiny awaits.....Amon Amarth – Twilight of The Thunder God
Amon Amarth are a Swedish melodic death metal band that have been pumping out albums since 1991 with a penchant for norse mythology that has lumped them firmly in the “Viking Metal” category. The 2006 release With Oden on Our Side
was well received by critics, whilst sticking to the tried and tested formula of writing atmospheric epics led by crushing riffs and melodic structures the group has carved their applauded niche in the genre by focusing on their obvious strengths and not wavering from it one bit. Promoted through a series of video blogs focusing on several aspects of the creative process and footage of the band members preparing food, 2008's Twilight of The Thunder God
is no different.
The album art features Norse thunder god Thor in battle with the sea serpent Jörmungandr, strongly indicative of the lyrical themes present. Johan Hegg's brutish growl spews out many a fantasy inspired lyric, the drama and mysticism of Viking mythology tragic, epic and hilarious all at once. Your destiny awaits indeed, what you can expect from the music itself is a solid blend of traditional melodic death metal riffs and blastbeats, with the odd tremolo picked rhythm and thrash riff thrown in here and there. Olavi Mikkonen & Johan Söderberg are a formidable pair of guitarists, more reliant on the almighty riff but fond of the appropriate widdly lead part when the time calls for it whilst drummer Fredrik Andersson & bass player Ted Lundström provide an excellent rhythm section.
Many of the songs here are indistinguishable, but this is a good thing in the case of Amon Amarth. Tracks such as Guardians of Asgaard
, Varyags of Miklagaard
and Twilight of The Thunder God
all feature strong riffs and vocal hooks, which whilst are rarely anything truly remarkable are exceptionally well constructed and downright fun to listen to. The atmospheric rush of adrenaline present in Free Will Sacrifice
, Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags
and Embrace of The Endless Ocean
through selective use of tremolo picking has shades throughout the entire album, Where Is Your God?
& No Fear For The Setting Sun
two of the faster tracks on here with the latter the closest to the realms of thrash the album gets. The guest appearances here stand strong, Twilight of The Thunder God's
blazing solo from Children of Bodom guitarist Roope Latvala one of the highlights of the album, Entombed vocalist Lars Göran Petrov ducking in on Guardians of Asgaard
and Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica making an appearance towards the end of Live for the Kill
in the only brief moment of rest to be found on what is essentially a non-stop assault of sound.
Whilst one could never accuse them of experimenting too much Amon Amarth know their strengths and how to exploit them for the common good of all involved. Twilight of The Thunder God
is a solid effort sure to please fans, and perhaps make some new ones. Look out for an 8 page comic based on the album which will be featuring in several prominent heavy metal magazines including Metal Hammer and Terrorizer, it is sure to be crushing.