Sunday, November 16, 2008

AMON AMARTH - Twilight of the Thunder God CD review

AMON AMARTH - Twilight of the Thunder God CD
Metal Blade Records

I'm of the firm belief that if vikings had electricity not only would they have listened to Metal, but AMON AMARTH would have headlined a few after conquest celebrations. Since 1992 this Swedish horde has been pounding out old school Melodic Death Metal laced with themes of Viking mythology, Norse Gods, tales of battle hardened warriors, Ragnarok, etc. Their 2006 release, With Oden on Our Side, saw the band finally reaching the top of the mountain or Asgard whichever you prefer. As far as the Viking/Battle Metal genre goes AMON AMARTH are it's rulers with fans worldwide. So will this new one take them to a higher level?

No it won't because you cannot reach any higher plateau than the one the band stands on today. In other words Twilight of the Thunder God is a great release. Just look at the cover art which depicts Thor wielding Mjolnir against the Midgard Serpent, Jormungand. You would have to be a real LOSER not to get off on that. Musically there's plenty more battle themed epics of Viking lore to keep anyone wearing a plastic horned Halloween store helmet happy. And while you're at it raise that plastic horn full of mead to your lips and take a big gulp. Because the production on Twilight of the Gods is in the low end of the scale. In other words the long boats won't sneak up on ya this time around. The guitars on here will blow you out of your make shift throne. Sure there's plenty of majestic Gothenburg sounding melody and that only makes Johan Hegg's bellows of a voice even more thunderous.

If there's one thing about this AMON AMARTH release that separates it from the previous six is the "special guests" who appear on it. For starters Roope Latvala from CHILDREN OF BODOM does some guitar shredding on the title track. Then there's Lars Göran Petrov from ENTOMBED adding vocals to “Guardians of Asgard". And if that's not enough then the biggest surprise of all is APOCALYPTICA adding strings to “Live for the Kill.” But will all of that bring forth more to the already huge legion of AMON AMARTH's army?

Probably not since if you've heard their music before and are not a fan already this won't change your mind. There are alot of people in certain Metal echelon circles who think Viking and Pagan/Folk Metal is ridiculous to start with. Secondly to them old styled Death Metal is over with. These people believe in music progression. Yeah like progressing all the fun out of it until it's only noise for nimrods. AMON AMARTH write incredibly interesting songs that sound great, grab your soul and tear you away from the here and now. And isn't that what Metal is all about? That's why I am a fan.

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