» Blog Archive Album Review: Jomsviking by Amon Amarth -
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Amon AmarthViking metal, that of sagas growled describing the gods and goddesses of the frozen wastes, battling monsters and each other, as well as the warriors who lived in that icy hel, is a thunderous and energetic metal style that has become very popular as of late. Currently leading the pack in popularity and in consistent output is Amon Amarth, who look, sound, and sing like we all feel a viking warrior should: powerfully!

With their newest frozen slab of viking virtue, Jomsviking, they thoroughly cement their place in the metal god pantheon. Opening with the ominous first track, First Kill, they come flying at you as if they had landed a raiding party upon your shores. Galloping guitars, thundering drums, all leading to a slow, articulate growl from lead vocalist, Johan Hegg. Jomsviking is by far one of the clearest albums that Amon Amarth has put out. Hegg has always managed to keep his growls and gravelly exhalations very easy to understand, even for those new to the band or the genre. The band itself has a very heavy power metal feel to it, and crunches their sound very nicely on this album.

Much of the vocal content is fairly standard fair from Amon Amarth, detailing viking life (The Way of Vikings), folklore, battles, honor, and just the philosophy of the culture. Wanderer is just a rhythmical battle cadence of those who know the bloody lands, One Against All much the same, describing the man who knows no retreat and will take the lives of all who challenge him, though he is the lone combatant on his side; this album is full of berzerker fuel for the soul. Amon Amarth always showcase a true talent in the musical arena as well, and are not found lacking in battle spirit, as many tracks offer huge technical shred sections littered with thrash fast picking, tapping, and runs that would make any pure power metal band jealous.

A couple of the standout tracks, to me, are Vengeance is My Name, simply because this track makes me want to tear down whomever steps into my way. It’s heavy, fast, charging head long into battle with an alt pick swing of it’s blade into the listener. It’s battle lust is naked as the edge of the axe that might split your shield if you’re not careful. Second, last on the album, Back on Northern Shores, is just beautiful, and shows the range of the band as a whole. As the longest track, it gives them room to stretch their legs after running and fighting for 9 tracks before it. the intro section is a lovely tapped guitar riff that just bounces through the ears, melding into Hegg growling seductively over some sonic mastery of wailing guitar notes tortured into the stratosphere.

Jomsviking is something similar, without being anywhere near the same, and Amon Amarth have blasted it out of the park. Whether a new fan, old hand, or simply looking for something you could easily get into, check out Jomsviking by Amon Amarth, out everywhere!

See you at Odin’s Table, in Valhalla!

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