Thursday, April 07, 2011

Amon Amarth: Surtur Rising (2011)


Surtur Rising is Amon Amarth's eighth full-length, and they never fail to deliver.

Surtur RisingTo describe the album best, all I can say is, it's an Amon Amarth album. If you don't know what that means, you need to do yourself a favor: go get With Oden on Our Side (one of my top albums of 2006). They are about as consistent as any band has ever been, in terms of both style and quality. With each album they've shifted gradually further away from your standard melodic death metal to a more anthemic sound, but with every release they get your blood pumping with great riffs, catchy songs that you can tell apart, and gruff vocals with lyrics about pillaging and whatever else Vikings like to do.

Opener "War of the Gods" is a perfect statement of what the band is all about, with a great opening riff, fast drums, and anthemic chorus. "Destroyer of the Universe" is the fastest and heaviest song on here, and "Slaves of Fear" is as catchy as the plague. And "A Beast Am I" has a great extended solo that's clearly about being interesting, not showing off. "Doom Over Dead Man" is a ballad and "For Victory or Death" has a distinct mainstream vibe, but both work. Sure, there are some missteps. "Live Without Regrets" is cheesy and built on riffs that should have been on the cutting room floor; "The Last Stand of Frej" is an experiment that didn't pay off. But those can be forgiven when the rest of the material is this strong.

The Verdict: Surtur Rising isn't my favorite Amon Amarth album. It might even be my least favorite. But that's like talking about my least favorite whiskey. It's still whiskey. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. "To describe the album best, all I can say is, it's an Amon Amarth album."

    That pretty much sums it up right there. And being an Amon Amarth album basically means it's automatically good.