Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising

Although they’ve been around since 1996, I didn’t come across Amon Amarth until around 2005 with their “Fate of Norns” album.  It was at a time when I was really trying to explore metal and was opening my mind to the various genres.  Had I come across the band any earlier, when my musical tatse were a little more narrow, I would have probably dismissed them, but fortunately that didn’t happen, I came across at just the right time and “Fate of Norns” simply blew me away, it was such a powerful album, heavy riffs, melodic passages and full of Norse mythology and Viking folklore.

Fast forward to today and Amon Amarth are set to release their eighth full length album “Surtur Rising” and like their previous albums, it’s a dense work of epic proportions, one firmly rooted in the Norse mythology they are known for. The album tells the story of Surtur, who was the leader of the fire giants of Muspelheim and is the oldest being in worlds of Norse mythology. According to legend, when Surtur lights his sword in the Eternal Flame, which, by the way, is beautifully illustrated on the albums cover, he will be given the power to raze the nine Norse worlds. It’s an incredible story indeed, one that is perfect material for a metal record of this caliber.  

Musically, this is pure Amon Amarth, it’s heavy, it’s powerful and it’s thoroughly entertaining. And with is twin riff fueled fury, pounding drums and driving bass, this is the soundtrack to a neck breakin’ mosh pit and is sure to get any crowd moving. Vocally, what can you say, singer Johan Hegg has a very strong voice and one of the best growls in metal today. These guys have their own sound and they know what they like and they know how to play it well. While each album may be similar sound, they are each distinct and unique in their own way and this album is no exception.  It continues on a similar vien that started on “With Oden on our Side” but it’s by no means just a rehash of previous work.

Overall, Surtur Rising is a raging slab of Vikingness, with unique moments of melody and atmosphere that create an excellent addition to their already impressive catalog.

(Photo by Steve Brown)

~ by silentium1 on March 9, 2011.

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