That’s a dozen for Amon Amarth: the Scandinavian metal band is releasing The Great Heathen Army on 5th August 2022. The album is already their twelfth one. I had a listen and share my thoughts with you.
Amon Amarth – About The Artists
Amon Amarth is a melodic death metal band from Tumba, Sweden. The band is in fact having their 30th anniversary this year, being active since 1992. Three founding members are still active. Olavi Mikkonen (lead guitar), Johan Hegg (vocals) and Ted Lundström (bass) are part of the band since its beginning. Guitarist Johan Söderberg joined in 1998, drummer Jocke Wallgren is master of rhythm since 2016. Even though the band did not have any measureable chart success with the first four albums, they stood with their label Metal Blade, which is still publishing Amon Amarth albums today.
The mid-2000’s album started to become popular in the metal scene, but the big bang was likely Twilight of the Thunder God, which was a Top 15 album in Sweden, Austria, France and Germany. With the last two albums, Jomsviking (2016) and Berserker (2019), the band even topped the charts in some of their markets
Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army – Track by Track
The nine song album lasts 43 minutes.
1. Get In The Ring
The set of nine songs starts with the two single releases so far. What would be a better opener than Get In The Ring, by the way. The band goes for a short warm-up, before Wallgren is starting to hammer the drumsticks on his instruments. And the other other Amon Amarth members? They simply do what you expect them to do. Johan Hagg is creating the typical Amon Amarth sound from the microphone position, the gutiars and the bass have to hurry to stay in the the rhythm and thus do not develop too many own styles. Get In The Ring is definitely worth a smile.
2. The Great Heathen Army
Second song, single release – and, of course, the title track: there is quite some focus on The Great Heathen Army, the title track of the album. The song is a bit slower and develops significantly more variation on the guitar and bass side. Nonetheless, the Swedish are able to go for some short breaks in this song. I like it.
Heidrun is a lovely melodic death metal march. The drums give a straight rhythm, the guitars hum the the main theme, which even has a bit of a folk music touch. And towards the end the song, the fans will be able to shout Hedrun, Heidrun and interact with their band during the shows in fall 2022. This will be a lot of fun, I am sure.
4. Oden Owns You All
The fourth song made me smile. While Amon Amarth go for pure, fast death metal sounds in verses, the chorus comes with a catching, almost pop-ish theme. At least if there wasn’t Johan Hegg. I guess that the growling singing style might refrain some potential consumer from listening.
5. Find A Way Or Make One
Stand tall and fight – already the first lines of this one catch you. The song alters between growl-a-long parts and catching, melodic sections. One of the most fluent and catching listens of the album. On the top of my list, indeed.
6. Dawn Of Norsemen
The epic Dawn Of Norsemen starts very powerful, but then also has some very quiet more. The metal shanty of the album – a great listening experience.
7. Saxons And Vikings
This section of the album is my absolute favorite. The Saxons And Vikings rather go for melodic elements – and the duet-style vocals add a nice style to The Great Heathen Army. Another must-listen.
8. Skagul Rides With Me
Hmm, what’s that? When I listened to Skagul Rides With Me for the first time, I was a bit of confused. But the easy, melodic chorus finally caught me. Very nice one – especially if you like melodic metal songs.
9. The Serpent’s Trail
The closing experience of the album is the trip on The Serpent’s Trail. Amon Amarth saved the most dramatic and theatric experience for last. A very good six minute finale.
Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army – Spotify
Here is the album on Spotify:
Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army – My View
There is not too much to say about this album. You expect it, you get it. The Swedish band is doing a very good, sometimes also slightly predictable album. There are some surprises here and there. Amon Amarth fans will love it – and you haven’t been into the band yet, The Great Heathen Army likely won’t change it. I felt it is a very good one, indeed.
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