Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Amon Amarth is one of those bands I was happy to stumble upon. They are loved by me for several reasons, one being they were the first real death metal band I ever heard. There music opened the door for me to get more interested in death metal, Norse mythology, and other sub-genres of metal such as folk metal.
Amon Amarth relies primarily one a basic set of instruments: guitars, bass, and drums. Generally, I am not into simple set ups as this; but the band is excellent at composing awsome riffs and music altogether, that there is no way to really dislike them (if you like this type of music, mind you).
I do not dislike any of the tracks on the album, for starters. Some are ultimately more enjoyable than others, but none of them are fillers by any means.
The vocalist is very unique in his way of death metal vocals. What was funny to me the first time I heard them was that you can nearly comprehend most of the words, more so than most death metal vocals. That in itself makes Amon Amarth unique, as well as an easier band to get into when you are not used to the death metal style of vocals. In many respects, watching a video of Amon Amarth, and listening to their vocalist scream reminds me very much of what I would picture as I reflect on the viking theme that is ever present in their music.
The lyrics on this album are fairly enjoyable. There is nothing like building an atmosphere of war and vikings pillaging. Seriously, can a band get much more metal then that? These guys pretty much represent, at least symbolically, what vikings would have listened to had their been metal back in the days of old. The lyrics are not serious, but they add to the fun of the album (if I should be saying "fun" is questionable). With that said, these are not comedy rock vocals by any means. They feel like real depictions of Norse mythology, which makes Amon Amarth incredibly unique in this genre of music.
Songs such as "Gods of War Arise", "Cry of the Blackbirds", "Runes to My Memory", and "Under the Northern Star" are on my top favorite list of this album. They are just perfect pieces of metal, really. If I were to recommend any song on this album specifically, it would be "Gods of War Arise" do to the amazingly melodic solo, tempo changes, and perfect vocals.
-Lyrics about vikings are awsome
-The guitar parts are generally incredible
-The vocal are unique and enjoyable
-All of the songs are great!
-The artwork is great!
-There is a bonus cd of some live performances and demos
-None, however I do feel in my soul that something is lacking due to the lack of other instruments. This is not necessarily a negative, but for viking metal/folk metal I would love to see these guys break away and use more ethnic instruments in their work, as well as their awsome guitar parts.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5