Review Summary: And just when you thought no more rape could be done and no more mead could be quaffed...
Just when you thought no more rape and pillaging could be done and no more mead could be quaffed, it seems that the Swedish Viking legends that are Amon Amarth have returned with their 7th studio album, Twilight Of The Thunder God
, which treats us to some of the most catchiest death metal you will find. Amon Amarth have released a lot of excellent albums in the past years, but don't be worried that this isn't one of them. While it may not be their best, it still has a running chance for one of the best albums of 2008, nevermind best death metal album. The creative spirit that brought us With Oden On Our Side
has reinvented itself with their latest effort, proving that they are still as effective in their music as they've ever been.
Amon Amarth have a reputition for being consistent. Whether this means achieving criticism for never changing their formula, or just because rabid, countless metalheads all over the world eat it up, it seems to work just fine for them. As with a lot of bands, their albums suffer from repetition in the odd place. Having said this, With Oden On Our Side
was Amon Amarth at their peak. They could never top that. Whether it was the crushing riffs or the powerful vocals and the occasional ballad-esque song, that was a melodic death metal masterpiece, worthy in the home of every metalhead. As ever, the band has come forth with an offering that may not be as memorable as With Oden On Our Side
, or other previous releases, it still manages to deliver the same viking metal formula that we are all familiar with. As I said before, Amon Amarth have a repitition for being consistent. So, of course, the production is sound, and, in my eyes, flawless.
The tracks on this album still remain the same sounding as previous release, but they don't get repetitive. Johan's vocals are superb, and tracks like Where Is Your God?
, Guardians Of Asgaard
and Varyags Of Miklagaard
still show off how brutal this band can be. The lyrical themes have been expanded and improved from other albums. The band still has that story telling ability that they once had, without resorting to straight foward methods. The Hero
is an impressive piece of work with a very good ending, and a good story to it. Fredrik's drumming never fails to impress and gives the whole band something to work from. Sometimes lacking and boring, however; he varies his work less than on With Oden On Our Side
Clearly, one prescence that is consistant on the whole album is melody. But, wait! There are even more changes to Amon Amarth's new sound. Live For The Kill
is a track that is unique to anything Amon Amarth have ever done before. Beginning with a cool intro, impressive guitar work and the usual glutteral vocals of Johan, before breaking into an unexpected cello break, provided by Apocalyptica. The results are stunning. A cello can add emotional feelings to anything, even melodic death metal. The classical instruments are used, but not overused. Following this track is the most progressive track on the album, Embrace Of The Endless Ocean
. Bringing back the awesome solos found on Versus The World
, the duel guitars give us even more melodic work, less 'metal' than other tracks. This album has Amon Amarth at a new sound, and hopefully a glimpse of what's to come.
Twilight Of The Thunder God
is an excellent album. It feeds us what we expect from Amon Amarth, while bringing new ideas to the table. Of course, it has its faults. The main flaw is the lack of diversity from Fredrik on drums, which can sound lacking, even boring. As with any album, it will take a few listens to tell apart each track, but, even if you aren't a fan of the band's previous work, I suggest listening to this, even if you haven't heard any of their other work. This album has Amon Amarth at a new sound, and hopefully a glimpse of what's to come. But, hell, I'd buy this just for the album art...