Amon Amarth CD review by Brett Horn

Music Reviews
Amon Amarth CD review by Brett Horn
Jul 25, 2007, 05:34

Amon Amarth - With Oden On Our Side

AMON AMARTH With Oden On Our Side CD

If there actually is a Valhalla, it's a good bet that the gods and warriors that call its halls home are currently banging their heads to Amon Amarth's latest release. A death metal band hailing from Sweden, Amon Amarth offers a rare pleasure: all the brutality, speed and heaviness any metal fan could want or need combined with actual songwriting skill. The major downfall of metal as a genre has always been its practitioners tendency to focus on taking one aspect of their sound, be it speed or heaviness, whatever, and then taking it to an extreme and ignoring all else, reducing the music from a craft to an empty exercise. Amon Amarth, while churning out music that can stand up to anything else in terms of brutality or any other signifier, has completely avoided this trap. Listening to this disc and soaking in its visceral thrills, your mind will do a double take as you realize that they are throwing down some mighty fine melodies. I would dare say that they could perform these songs acoustically and they would still hold up. The key to excellent death metal, in this case, paradoxically seems to be a tiny bit of restraint. For instance, the vocals are plenty barky and growly and firmly within traditional death metal bounds, but are actually still intelligible. Finally, as you might guess from the title, the listener gets the added bonus of lyrics that are Viking-themed, full of raiding parties approaching unsuspecting villages and bloody swords. Sweet! All in all, I have no reservations about recommending this to both hardcore metal fans and neophytes alike. May Oden grant you victory, Amon Amarth. [Metal Blade]

-Brett Horn


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