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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Album Review: Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising

Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising
2011 Metal Blade Records
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Amon Amarth remains one of the most triumphant and tuneful death-thrash hybrids on the planet. Though they’ve become less blunt and not always as speedy, this band’s name should still automatically roll off the tongue when asked “what is metal?”

Continued proof on their latest album, Surtur Rising. Filled with calling card shredfests such as “Destroyer of the Universe,” “For Victory or Death” and “War of the Gods,” Surtur Rising continues the deck-shuffling trend Amon Amarth has sought as of their last album, Twilight of the Thunder God. They again mix up the scheme on Surtur Rising with mid-tempo punchouts like “Slaves of Fear,” “Wrath of the Norsemen” and “Tock’s Taunt – Loke’s Treachery Part II.”

The headbanger’s delight of “Live Without Regrets” should have fans slamming heads in tandem as the band begins their one-man-show “A Night With Amon Amarth” throughout North America--particuarly since Amon Amarth will be playing Surtur Rising in its entirety as the first of two sets.

The much-slower “The Last Stand of Frej” makes use of a daring creepalong tempo and accented drag to create a demonstrative tone of sorrow. In all, Surtur Rising is yet another rousing hail to a far-flung world where hammers fly, swords cleave and fire licks the earth like a lemon drop.

Also available as a digipak with a 28-page booklet and a DVD wailing out a marathon of four hours of live Amon Amarth. Get some and then some...

Rating: ****


cjk_44 said...

Ray, although i consider "Surtur Rising" a slight drop from "Twilight of the Thunder God" the latest two albums from Amon Amarth are impressive.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I'd say so, largely for their musicality. They've traded brute force for more finesse and they're a powerhouse now. Could mean they run themselves into a wall later down the road, but right now, Amon Amarth have become real artisans.

metalodyssey said...

"Fire licks the Earth like a lemon drop"... that is good stuff Ray! I had to LOL when I read that quote! Man, I needed a cool "pick me up" and reading this review and that quote makes me feel like everything is okay.

I am leaning towards this album being a top 5 contender for my year end list... where it lands remains to be seen. Just an excellent, melodically heavy piece of work from Amon Amarth. \m/

I'll never look at a lemon drop the same way again though. :)

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

: ) <---- hee hee hee glad that was pick 'er up for you...sometimes lemon can be like licking me, anyway, but yeah, AA is on a roll and we're not talking about Alcoholics Anonymous, who probably know a thing or two about lemon drops