Amon Amarth – Jomsviking Review

Released by: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: March 25th, 2016

Genre: Viking Metal

Links: http://www.amonamarth.com

 

Line Up:

Johan Hegg – Vocals
Ted Lundström – Bass
Johan Söderberg – Guitar
Olavi Mikkonen – Guitar

 

Tracklist:

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 (bonus track – for digibook, digital, LP, and viking ship editions)
10. A Dream That Cannot Be (Featuring Doro Pesch)
11. Back On Northern Shores

 

Amon Amarth’s Deceiver of the Gods from 2013 received a 10 out of 10 from me. As I said in that review I’d liked them somewhat prior, but it was that album that solidified my love of the band. They’ve certainly come a long way in almost two decades of recording music. Their earlier albums are much more straight forward aggressive Death Metal whereas they have gotten much more melodic with their last few albums, including their most melodic yet, and latest offering Jomsviking. Before you get your titties in a twist about the more melodic comment, still remaining is their intense metal assault. They’re one of the few bands of the Death Metal genre that manages to find the perfect balance of heavy and melody.

As long as the unique voice of Johan Hegg remains, the band will always sound like Amon Amarth at its core, but what has stepped up is the guitar work. Not that Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg weren’t already impressive players, adding massively heavy riffs all along, it’s just now they have stepped up their game in regards to structuring solo’s that are as memorable as the songs themselves. Again, not to sound like I’m down on anything they have done in the past. On the contrary I’ve always felt that their work was one of the keys to making Amon Amarth standout. However, instead of sticking to what is expected of a Death Metal band (even one that delves deeply into Viking lore,) they’ve found a way to cleverly combine their expected Amarth sound while adding elements of Power and Traditional metal within the songs. With tracks like “Wanderer,” “On A Sea of Blood,” “One Thousand Burning Arrows” they show different layers, yet still call back to their early days with tracks like “Back On Northern Shores” and “The Way of the Vikings.”

Amon Amarth have tapped into a great formula for creating brilliant metal masterpieces as they maintain the level of aggression they’re known for while not showing any fear of stepping out and doing something perhaps a bit out of their norm. I doubt we’ll ever see a day where Amon does a tender ballad, at least I hope not, but they fact they’re stepping up their melodic game is a nice touch. I’m sure this factor is and will continue to alienate some fans, but Jomsviking is yet another perfect album that displays just why they’re one of the best bands in metal today.

 

Written by: Chris Martin

 Ratings:  Chris   10/10!!!

 

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