Amon Amarth: The Great Heathen Army – 2nd Opinion

The standout track is Saxons and Vikings which sees a collaboration with Biff Bufford of Saxon sharing the vocals and tells the story of the Viking invasion of Wessex...

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Viking Metal

Release Date: 5th August

 

Tracks :

Get In The Ring,
The Great Heathen Army,
Heidrun,
Oden Owns You All,
Find A Way Or Make One,
Dawn of Norsemen,
Saxons and Vikings,
Skagul Rides with Me,
The Serpent’s Trail,

 

Line Up:

Olavi Mikkonen  – Guitar

Johan Hegg – Vocals

Ted Lundström – Bass

Johan Söderberg – Guitar

Jocke Wallgren – Drums

 

When I first saw Amon Amarth at Bloodstock Indoor in 2005 and never thought that 17 years later, they would be headlining large-scale venues but even then, their shows had a scale and ambition to them.

So welcome to Amon Amarth’s 12th album to date. A follow-up to 2019’s Berserker whose touring and promotion were devastated by the worldwide covid epidemic. A brave decision not to wait and tour the album now but instead to make something new.

This always had the makings of something especially as it had the great Andy Sneap at the controls.

The musical progression and evolution are evident on every one of the tracks even though it is perhaps a nod to the past and is darker death metal than heavy metal as seen on the Berserker album.

The opening track Get In The Ring was written for a friend of the band, the wrestler Erick Rowan who uses it as his ring entrance music. What a way to start an album, the perfect mix of wrestling and Vikings, the story of battles to come.

 

A couple of interesting tracks are Skagal Rides With Me and The Serpent’s Tail which could be a whole new genre of symphonic Viking death metal with their cinematic sweep and epic conclusion.

The standout track is Saxons and Vikings which sees a collaboration with Biff Bufford of Saxon sharing the vocals and tells the story of the Viking invasion of Wessex in 871AD. The contrast between Johan’s growly vocals and Biff’s more traditional metal vocals works well.

Overall, the band’s musical progression and evolution are evident on every one of the tracks even though it is perhaps a nod to the past and is darker death metal than heavy metal as seen on the Berserker album

If you want a reminder of how far they’ve come since 2005 then check out their performance at B.O.A in 2017 here: 

 

Score 9/10

Reviewed by: Adrian Young

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Photo Credit: Ange Cobham / Cobspix Photography

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