Amon Amarth

Over the past few years, I've come to truly appreciate and love Melodic Death Metal, […]
By Sammy M
May 11, 2016
Amon Amarth -Jomsviking album cover

Over the past few years, I've come to truly appreciate and love Melodic Death Metal, and it's bands like AMON AMARTH that are the root cause of this. Taking the raw power and rage of typical Death Metal, and the instrumental intricacies and beauty of Power Metal and Thrash, Melodic Death Metal has become one of the strongest genres in Metal. As AMON AMARTH have progressed, their music has certainly evolved more and more in to this category as they have become more melodic and honed their craft. While some old-school fans of the band may not appreciate this, it's the natural evolution of the band, as they go from strength to strength.

"Jomsviking", as I said, may have put off some people by becoming more melodic, but it's an incredibly strong work by the Viking powerhouses, Johan Hegg and co. As with all of their work "Jomsviking" is lyrically based on Norse history and mythology, meaning the songs tend to tell a story rather than just going through the motions and playing to song-writing stereotypes with the usual subject matters. This is one of the things that makes AMON AMARTH unique, and is abundantly present in their latest offering.

The only complaint I could possibly have, is that most of the tracks sound very similar and therefore there isn't really a specific song that stands out from the rest. But this is often the case with a lot of Melodic Death Metal bands, so honestly you can't expect too much variety, or they would turn into something completely different which is not what we want from bands like this.

As I have mentioned, there is a bit of a lack of variety, however, the song "Raise Your Horns" was probably the first to completely grab my attention as it has a very "seafaring" feel to it and almost feels like a Metal version of a song that Viking raiders may have sang in celebration after a successful raid or battle. It has an anthem feel to it, and that could make it a favourite for live shows. The track directly following this, "The Way of Vikings", has a very similar vibe to it, but more amped up and forceful rather than celebratory.

The guttural power of Johan Hegg along with the technical mastery of Olavi Mikkosen, Johan Soderberg, and Ted Lundstrom, are prevalent throughout the entire album, and it seems like they have all actually managed to improve their already considerable skills since their last outing. This could also be due to that slightly new direction that they have gone in, allowing a little more flash than they used to employ. In the past, the term "Viking-Metal" has often been associated with AMON AMARTH for their lyrics rather than the actual music - although that has always been there to a certain extent - but it has become more clear this time around due mostly to the guitar work and slight changes to the way that Johan expresses himself at times.

The songwriting and technical skill has always been what sets AMON AMARTH apart, and yet again they have proven that they are a massive force to be reckoned with. So while this may have upset the old fans by going more melodic, "Jomsviking" is a great album and most definitely should not be ignored.


9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Jomsviking" Track-listing:
  1. First Kill
  2. Wanderer
  3. On a Sea of Blood
  4. One Against All
  5. Raise Your Horns
  6. The Way of Vikings
  7. At Dawn's First Light
  8. One Thousand Burning Arrows
  9. Vengeance Is My Name
  10. A Dream That Cannot Be (Featuring Doro Pesch)
  11. Back on Northern Shores
Amon Amarth Lineup:

Johan Hegg - Vocals
Olavi Mikkonen - Guitar
Johan Soderberg - Guitar
Ted Lundstrom - Bass

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