Amon Amarth
Jomsviking


4.0
excellent

Review

by Gameofmetal STAFF
March 29th, 2016 | 126 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Amon Amarth, this time with a bit of ambition.

It’s an achievement in itself that Amon Amarth was only starting to get boring by the time their ninth or tenth record of raging Viking themed melodeath rolled around. Not many bands could keep a bag featuring approximately one trick so entertaining for so long, and now it’s become Amon Amarth’s veritable legacy in a way. It’s safe to say not many expected anything new with Jomsviking and early singles didn’t do much to disprove that theory. However, the crafted whole does feel a bit different in some small ways. For the first time, Amon Amarth have contorted their typical Viking theme into a concept story to drape across the record which lends a sense of grandeur to it. The music itself isn’t terribly different, but it does feel like it was written for the story rather than individual songs. And that makes all the difference really. It’s a more epic Amon Amarth, a bigger Amon Amarth, dare I say a more ambitious Amon Amarth.

Musically Jomsviking is some of the band’s most melodically inspired output in some time, perhaps even a little NWOBHM inspired at times. As far as guitars go, soaring harmonies and upper register melodies are the name of the game here. Not that Amon Amarth was known for being fast and heavy before, but old tracks like “Destroyer of the Universe” (from 2011’s Surtur Rising) showed some more aggressive tendencies. Still, songs like “On A Sea of Blood” show that the band has some riffs in them, but it’s not the focus here. No, Jomsviking is very much narratively focused to look at it. One of the greatest aspects this shows itself in is vocalist Johan Hegg’s new use of spoken word passages. The man already had a well-respected range from raspy shrieks to guttural growls, and this only widens his repertoire, but one can wonder at how it came to be. Mostly I wonder if he implemented the technique to compliment some of the quieter moments in the band’s music, or if the music was a response to his new ideas. Either way, it’s one of the more tangible changes in the band’s sound here.

From opener “First Kill” to closing epic “Back on Northern Shores” Jomsviking feels like an Amon Amarth with a little more direction and a little more vigor. Both of which were needed after Deceiver of the Gods, possibly their weakest record to date for similar reasons. It’s an approach that relies on a melodic, mid-tempo approach, but it suits their narrative driven sound quite well. It’s still Amon Amarth, make no mistake about that. It’s not a night and day change no matter how much some may want it to be so. Regardless, ambition looks pretty good on Amon Amarth, in whatever small measure it shows itself.



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user ratings (336)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Chamberbelain (3.5)
Jomsviking: A tale of vengeance, romantic tragedy and musical predictability....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 28th 2016


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ayyy lmao



idk i thought this was surprisingly good

Hawks
March 28th 2016


52280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yeah bro. m/

Digging: The Body and Full Of Hell - Ascending a Mountain of Heavy Light

BigPleb
March 28th 2016


51632 Comments


Growing on me I gotta admit.

Nice rev as usual Game m/

zaruyache
March 28th 2016


18077 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

If you replace the vocals this could basically be a Dethklok album.

Nocturnalize
March 28th 2016


2463 Comments


Nice rev as usual Game m/ [2]

These guys are so good at what they do

Gyromania
March 29th 2016


23723 Comments


would i like this, game?

ComeToDaddy
March 29th 2016


1613 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Loved this album, way more than I expected to. Totally agree that Deceiver was their weakest and this was really refreshing to spin, sweet review game

Piripichotes
March 29th 2016


424 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This IS surprisingly good GAME! totally unexpected... This is better than TWILIGHT imo... Their best release sin ODEN....

Alastor
March 29th 2016


1793 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

seems like I'll have to give this a proper listen, but I doubt I will end up liking it.

Digging: Hedge Wizard - Local Portal

Tunaboy45
March 29th 2016


15647 Comments


I need to give this a listen, never been the biggest fan though.

Great review as always Brett.

InFlamesWeThrash666
March 29th 2016


7070 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The song featuring Doro kinda sucks

Digging: Aetherian - The Untamed Wilderness

Toondude10
March 29th 2016


11717 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

eh

Digging: Machine Head - The Blackening

smaugman
March 29th 2016


4485 Comments


this band's album names suck

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2016


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"would i like this, game? "



not sure i know your taste well enough to judge

Alastor
March 29th 2016


1793 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"this band's album names suck"



The Crusher and Versus the World are in my top 10 album names ever.





DungeonBoy
March 29th 2016


3375 Comments


Good review, I guess I should give this album a listen while reading the lyrics, because from the few songs I've heard it's just another AA album. Not that it's a bad thing, I just might need to be in the right mood to find interest in the same thing I've heard over the last 4 albums.

Digging: Dawn - Slaughtersun (Crown of the Triarchy)

Toondude10
March 29th 2016


11717 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Gotta admit though, Wanderer was pretty good

SCREAM!
March 29th 2016


15105 Comments


"If you replace the vocals this could basically be a Dethklok album."

Musically Dethklok is basically a melodeath band so that isn't super surprising

Tunaboy45
March 29th 2016


15647 Comments


They come from the Blind Guardian school of visually overwhelming album art.

Gmork89
March 29th 2016


7374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Insomnium sounds more like Dethklok to me, especially the vocals at times.



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