Time for a little change of pace as the winter season has slowed down some. Recently, I purchased a new CD from the Viking Death Metal group Amon Amarth who hail from Stockholm. Formed in 1992, the group has remained true to themselves and continue to reign using Viking history as their guide. Prior to With Oden On Our Side, Amon Amarth has released Burning Creation (1994), Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds (1995), Once Sent From The Golden Hall (1997), The Avenger (1999), The Crusher (2000), Versus The World (2003), Fate of Norns (2004) and With Oden On Our Side (2006).
The CD actually includes a bonus disc which is always a nice bonus given the immense cost of CD’s today. The songs include
Valhall Awaits me grabs you immediately, pounding you with intense drumming to then be blessed with a very catchy guitar riff. Something, I notice Amon Amorth is very strong at and in my opinion, establishes them outside the general Death Metal scene. I immediately like this song and believe my purchase was well worth it.
grown on me. Now, this is the point in a CD were we teeter on either having a nice little gem for your listening pleasure or something you forget about rather quickly. The question was how Hermod’s Ride To Hel – Lokes Treachery Part I, will spell the picture out. As the song starts, the melodic guitar riff kicks in and I knew immediately this song was going to kick some serious ***.
Gods of War Arise takes you on a Viking trip to a village about to be conqured. The musical procession takes you for an amazing ride carrying you along for an epic adventure. The name sake of the album paints a bloody picture of the aftermath of the Viking conquest, the lyrics, brutal drums and scorching guitars drive the picture home.
Cry of The Black Birds and Under The Northern Star clearly demonstrate the growth Amon Amarth has seen over the years by putting together a very strong album from beginning to end. Under The Northern Star is amazing to say the least and is a very good lead into the final song on the album. The pace slows a tad on this song as it is about as close to a soft song as your going to get. What really sets this group apart from other Death Metal bands is the obivious musical talent involved.
Of course this leads up to the final song title Prediction of Warfare and with the blow of a Viking sword, it planted quite a shot. It is one of the best songs I have heard in a long time and I enjoyed it immediately. Similar to Susperia’s Chemistry or Immortal Soul’s Man of Sorrow, Amon Amarth outdo themselves here. The song is addictive like no other and the soothing pounding of wave generating melody really sets this song above the others.
Death Metal isn’t for everybody and Viking Death Metal is even for a smaller group. But, there are some very talented bands out there who display amazing skills. Guitarists Johan Soderberg, Olavi Mekkonen, drummer Fredrik Andersson, bassist Ted Lundstrom and vocalist Johan Hegg have put together an amazing work of art on With Oden On Our Side. Even if your not into the gutteral vocals, the musical journey is still worth a listen too. Here the music is about more than just speed and pounding pain into your ears, it is about real talent, catchy tunes with a solid dose of melody while still containing its hard edge.
Amon Amarth – With Oden On Our Side earns $$$$$ out of $$$$$ a definate must for any musical collection.