Amon Amarth
With Oden on Our Side


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jorn van Schaïk USER (172 Reviews)
October 1st, 2008 | 26 replies | 3,975 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Melodic death metal without the cheese. And more death metal. And that is a good thing.

8 of 8 thought this review was well written

Amon Amarth are one of those bands that have had a career since 793 or something similar, and put a ***load of albums out in that period. Nobody ever kinda recognised them. Then came "Versus the World" and people were asking themselves who these Swedes and one Finn were. Then two albums later, we have arrived in 2006, and it is time for their penultimate record, With Oden On Our Side. And these guys are just getting bigger than ever, and with the new disc out there, these guys will probably become even more well-known. But those people that are hopping on the bandwagon with the new album, will have to know that 2006's With Oden On Our Side is one of the grooviest things the band ever released. And that they are doing themselves a disservice when they don't check this thing out.

There's a major reason for that, though, and that is that the songwriting on this thing is as ace as it gets. These guys play your everyday garden variety of death metal, but they add tidbits of melody, and huge doses of groovy, churning riffs. Also, there are no keyboards; those slick melodies are lead guitars, and there is no sort of melodeath cheese to be found here. These guys don't sound like Soilwork or Scar Symmetry, and the choruses are not poppy stuff, but they're really aggressive and powerful instead. Just check out the main lines of songs like "Asator", and you'll see that these guys are all about the songwriting and the groove, but don't forsake the heaviness of their roots as a death metal band. These guys have an amazing sense of force with their riffs, and all of the songs feature at least two main themes that will get your head banging.

The second reason is that the guitarists don't shred every song to bits. Melodic-oriented bands have that tendency to have the guitarists be flashy and show off on every song; that too is not on this album. Of course, there are the obligatory solos; but they are short, they fit the song, and every song has a main riff that they can build that solo off. And when the guitars are leading the song properly, it turns into the awesomeness of "Cry of the Black Birds", a song that perfectly takes that groovy riff and sweet lead melody formula to a new level. These guys have crafted a bunch of anthems that are bound to be live favourites on this record, and they have the songs to show for it.

Another major plus on this record is the vocal department, served to us by everyone's favourite viking-with-a-monstrously-huge-beard-and-a-horn, Johan Hegg. Hegg uses that famous death growl style, but he does it properly; there is no insanely high shrieking or half-assed grunting to be found here. There's just an extremely powerful roar, that drives every song with conviction and aggression. Another plus is that Hegg can actually enunciate his growls ("Runes to My Memory" is an excellent example), unlike a Lord Worm; hence the lyrics are comprehensible through the death grunting madness. That's exactly the grunting style that should tickle the fancy of people new to the style; they get both aggression and clarity.

Lyrically and imagery-wise Amon Amarth don't diverge one bit from the topics they've always sung about. These guys seem to have found something that works, much like say an Iron Maiden or a Slayer; they play the same powerful melodic death metal with the same Viking-inspired lyrical themes and they switch up the songwriting enough to be consistently interesting for a 45 minute period. It's everything you know and love with these boys: there are anthems about the Son of Thunder ("Asator"), where Vikings go after death ("Valhall Awaits Me") and the treachery of dear old Loki ("Hermods Ride to Hell"). Much like the mentioned bands before them, it's a formula, it's an iconic thing, and it's something that works, and luckily Amon Amarth have the wisdom not to stray from it.

So what's the final verdict? There is a boatload of groove, some amazing consistency (the album contains no real weak songs), some fine restrained musicianship and a great deal of death metal power. If you are a fan of this sort of thing, you shouldn't hesistate to snap up an Amon Amarth album, and you could do worse than this one. Amon Amarth are one of the few "Viking" metal bands that do not succumb to the typical flaws (cheese, wankery) that pervades this sort of music, and they are the better for it. Recommended.



Recent reviews by this author
Frank Turner Tape Deck HeartBrand New The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
Metallica MetallicaSlayer World Painted Blood
Katatonia Night Is the New DayRammstein Liebe Ist Für Alle Da
user ratings (1165)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
myhigherpie (4)
Tits N' Mead m/(>_...

Dethtrasher (4.5)
The Vikings would've been proud if they where listening to this crushing metal album....

loathed (4)
Amon Amarth comes up with an excellent album, without changing much. Sticking to their melodic self,...

Epsilon (4.5)
Amon Amarth is a Melodic Death Viking themed band. With each release their skills are only more enha...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
October 1st 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, this easily overpowers TOTTG. Pediction Of Warfare is just unbeatable.

Altmer
October 1st 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

also listening to versus the world and this album's production is just way better, especially on the drums

Thor
October 1st 2008



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is still my favorite album of Amon Amarth's. Gods of War Arise just slays.

Altmer
October 1st 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

cry of the blackbirds has such a godly melody idk

Essence
October 1st 2008



3577 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can't we all agree that Vikings, and (good) bands that sing about Vikings, are just fucking awesome, and leave it at that?


That's right, I am calling that everyone should unite around VIKINGS.

VIKINGS FOR UNIFICATION IN '08This Message Edited On 10.01.08

Altmer
October 1st 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

no

because most "viking" metal turns into cheesy flutey folk metal

Essence
October 1st 2008



3577 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That's why I said good...

Ace review, by the way. Completely agree, though Twilight is still my favored album.This Message Edited On 10.01.08

Altmer
October 1st 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

iono i think that one and this one are about equal

Essence
October 1st 2008



3577 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, they both have some pretty amazing songs.

I just love Twilight's opening track way more.

Also, the track with Apocalyptica on Twilight is just flawless.

Altmer
October 1st 2008



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

apocalyptica are a pretty amazing band so that isn't surprising at all

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2008



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

WOLFDOG ON MY HEAD

Dethtrasher
October 1st 2008



2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Pediction Of Warfare is just unbeatable.

Amen to that. And agree with Thor as well, Gods Of War Arise is an awesome track. This was my favourite AA album until TOTTG came out.

rasputin
October 1st 2008



14516 Comments


meh

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2008



17196 Comments


This is still my favorite album of Amon Amarth's.


BallsToTheWall
October 1st 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Twilight is crap. Hail to this album.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2008



17196 Comments


Twilight is still pretty damn good. This just happens to be better. How can you like this and not Twilight? I mean its not like there's any major differences in sound/structure.

BallsToTheWall
October 1st 2008



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The structure sounds more focused and competently produced on this album. More standouts, better songwriting, and sounds more focused.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 1st 2008



17196 Comments


To each their own.

sickofantsid
October 1st 2008



129 Comments


can't get into this band

Crimson
October 1st 2008



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album got me into this band. should really get their latest



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy