Amon Amarth
Once Sent from the Golden Hall


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Viessman USER (44 Reviews)
June 27th, 2009 | 15 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I wouldn't mind getting raped, pillaged, and plundered by these vikings.

Ah good old Amon Amarth. They are on a short list of bands that I can listen to and feel like a total bad ass while doing so. I first journeyed into their realm late last year when they released Twilight of the Thunder God. I feel instantly in love with the record; so much so did I do this that I went out and actually had it purchased for my birthday by my sister. It was a great 18th birthday present. After listening to TotTG, I went further back into their discography. With Oden On Our Side, Fate of Norns, and The Avenger were great albums to feel like a viking towards, but these three, and the former that I mentioned earlier became beaten when I hear Once Sent from the Golden Hall.

Released in early 1998, this LP is the first time we get to experience the unique sound that every fan of Amon Amarth has grown to love. It starts out with one of the most awesome metal songs ever in Ride for Vengeance. Starting off with a charge like feel, and not to mention a huge war cry by Johan Hegg, the song just explodes into this barrage of melodic riffage at the :20 mark. The song's lyrics fit perfectly with the music. Honestly there's nothing more viking like than shouting, screaming, and roaring your way through a song that deals with seeking vengeance on those who killed your son. An interesting part about the song is that there is no generic structure to it. Yeah the twenty second solo is present, but the song keeps a fresh feeling for an opener; oh yeah, the stuff after the solo is still extraordinary every time I hear it. This truly was "the ride for vengeance!"

The rest of the album hardly lets up as well. Johan Hegg's vocals are extremely raw compared to his later albums, and at times I prefer his screams/growls/spoken words better than his developed vocals. For forty-five minutes, the listener is pummeled, raped, pillaged, and plundered by these Swedes. The group does this in couple of ways too. With songs such as The Dragon's Flight Across the Waves, Victorious March and the self titled Amon Amarth, the group takes a droned out, almost original viking/black metal approach. This is especially true in the later song; by the way, this is my least favorite track on here, and the main reason why this disc doesn't receive a perfect 5 rating. I'm personally not a big fan of this slow and methodical paced metal on a fast paced album. Although Victorious March goes through the same pacing as the self titled track, the melodicness of the song suites my tastes better than the other.

The main reasoning for my likeness of Victorious March over Amon Amarth is because the former is a continuation of arguably the band's best song to date. This is the quintessential viking song. A somewhat precursor to Vahall Awaits Me, well at least lyrically, Without Fear is a song which metal enthusiasts can proudly bang their heads. The song just works and flows perfectly. It starts off extremely fast, but it kind of mellows out when Hegg starts singing. Oddly enough, this song gives me a almost post rock feel in structure. The tempo is like a person's heart rhythm going from chaotic to a bit mellow. The build up of the song after the solo into that final crescendo of a riff is one of the best moments I've ever heard in the entire genre of metal. I would make love to that riff every night...it's that good.

Amon Amarth's subsequent releases have all had a similar feel to this release at least musically. Most people look over this album and give credit to later albums as being the best. On Once Sent from the Golden Hall though, the band invents their sound, not just revolutionizes it like on later albums. The rawness of this album makes it my favorite of AA's releases. Some people have criticized the receptiveness of the album. Well I'll end it with this: Hasn't the entire band's history been of repetition? If it isn't broke, don't fix it. It definitely was not broke on this superb debut.



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user ratings (342)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
rasputin (3.5)
A very good debut album that unfortunately suffers from repetitiveness, and inferiority to the album...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Poet
June 27th 2009


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's extremely hard typing when I just had surgery on my left middle finger yesterday. I spell-checked this, but I may have missed something.

Yazz_Flute
June 27th 2009


18875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I prefer Versus the World but this is probably my second favorite of theirs. One of the best metal debuts i've ever heard tbqh.

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

fireaboveicebelow
June 27th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

drumming on this record is cool

BallsToTheWall
June 27th 2009


44805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Killer album and review. The Vikings taught the Irish the money system and how to build boats so i thank them from preventing us from killing each other off in a savage and brutish manner.

feav233
June 28th 2009


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome album, might as well grow a beard and praise Odin

FistfulOfSteel
June 28th 2009


894 Comments


Summary: I wouldn't mind getting raped

k



Poet
June 28th 2009


5935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanx for taking dat out of context bro.

FistfulOfSteel
June 28th 2009


894 Comments


just yanking your chain. oddly enough, this and the avenger are the only AA albums i've yet to hear.

jingledeath
June 28th 2009


7104 Comments


good review, damn it I don't have the first 3 AA albums. must acquire whole discography

Dethtrasher
June 29th 2009


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. ''Ride For Vengeance'' and ''Friends Of The Suncross'' are so ***king good.

zaruyache
December 15th 2009


7418 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This...isn't that good. I have the remastered version and it utterly fails in comparison to pretty much anything else they've released.

Victorious March, Friends of the Suncross and Once Sent from the Golden Hall are pretty sweet, but everything else seems a little meh.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Butkuiss
June 22nd 2013


4253 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Still best Amon Amarth.

Vakarian12
June 23rd 2013


3923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

one of their best

last few minutes of Amon Amarth is filled with sword swing glory.

FR33L0RD
November 15th 2013


1466 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Jewel album.
Well done texture guitar work & masterpiece melodies.
Not perfect of course & repetitive, yes.
But, repetitive greatness that is very addictive.
Amon Amarth, the band as a whole, is quite unique,IMHO.
That's odd, unique repetitiveness.
Paradoxical, we say.


Flugmorph
November 26th 2014


877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Some really odd drum patterns on a few songs here.



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