Review Summary: Nothing you haven’t heard already, but who’s complaining?
Viking metal, melodic death metal, call it what you will… Twilight of the Thunder God is Amon Amarth doing what they do best. There are very few tricks to the Swedish metal quintet’s latest installment, as the songs don’t really progress the band’s already trademarked sound. However, Twilight does give fans ten incredibly catchy new death metal songs that will stick to the back of your head for many a-listen.
Amon Amarth have never relied on sheer instrumental skill or brutality to attract the listener, and that’s certainly not the case here. What’s great about this album is that it revels in it’s simplicity. Twilight of the Thunder God is, to be blunt, loads of fun. While there are guitar solos played throughout, they’re not really there to drop jaws, but rather to give said listener a few new melodies to hum back. I couldn’t thank them more for that, because it’s worked so well on past songs like “Death in Fire”.
The album’s three guest spots are also very welcomed and provide just a slight bit of diversity. “Twlight of the Thunder God” features a blistering solo by Children of Bodom’s Roope Latvala. On a sidenote, it’s way better than any of the worthless dribble found on Blooddrunk. Former Entombed vocalist Lars Göran Petrov has a guest spot on “Guardians of Asgaard” and you can hear Apocalyptica lay down some additional string parts on “Live For the Kill”. It’s just the right amount of diversity to make this release seem fresh, while still sounding akin to all of the past Amon Amarth albums.
What makes this album really work though are the band’s choruses, which are just more than perfect for a live setting. Damn near every track on here features at least one moment of extreme catchiness, and sometimes more. Johan Hegg’s furious and crystal clear vocal performance gives fans something to chant along to, especially in songs like “Guardians of Asgaard” and “Free Will Sacrifice”. The guitars have also never sounded so crisp, while still retaining the attack and crunch from Versus the World. The harmonized riffs are consistently great, though the choice cut for me would be “Varyags of Miklagaard”, which should rightfully be considered one of the band’s best songs to date.
Simply put, Amon Amarth have put out yet another quality melodic death metal album worthy of any metal fan’s attention. Fans of the band should definitely enjoy this because all of the past elements are here, with just a few new twists every now and then. Newcomers should also enjoy this because it’s the band’s most accessible release to date and comes with a myriad of incredible hooks. Twilight of the Thunder God is just one of those must-have metal albums of the year.