Band Name: Amon Amarth
Album Name: Twilight of the Thunder God
Rating: 3.5 / 5 User Rating: 0 / 5
Label: Metal Blade Records
Buy Album: Amazon.com
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1. Twilight of the Thunder God
2. Free Will Sacrifice
3. Guardians of Asgaard
4. Where Is Your God?
5. Varyags of Miklagaard
6. Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags
7. No Fear for the Setting Sun
8. The Hero
9. Live for the Kill
10. Embrace of the Endless Ocean
The one problem that arises when bands release stunning, career-defining albums like Amon Amarth's "With Oden On Our Side" is that it leaves them with a lot to live up to. That said, "Twilight of the Thunder God" is a very solid release from everyone's favorite Swedish Vikings. That would be fine, except for the fact that Amon Amarth are more than a solid band. They have consistently put out albums that unrelentingly compel me to jump out of my seat and pump my fist for many years now. "Twilight of the Thunder God" only made me do so a handful of times.|
In my personal opinion the band hit a stunning creative peak with their last album, the epic "With Oden On Our Side." "Twilight of the Thunder God" just doesn't quite reach that level. There is a lot to like about the album, but each song doesn't have that intangible quality that immediately grabs the listener like every song on the last album had.
The biggest problem to me is that the album lacks singalong choruses. Those are what I feel Amon Amarth does best. That is not to say that there aren't choruses at all, it's just that the choruses are not singable. The usual Amon Amarth formula of heavy riffs sandwiched around melodic guitar-driven choruses is present, but just feels a bit stale without the hook of a killer singalong.
The vocals in general are top notch as usual, however. Johan Hegg possesses an absolutely fantastic growl that is deep as the Grand Canyon, but still perfectly audible and decipherable at all times. As far as death metal vocalists go, he is near the top.
Some of the material on the album is, in fact, among Amon Amarth's heaviest as well, especially the punishing "Where Is Your God?" My personal favorite tunes are "Varyags of Misklagaard" which possesses a classic Amon Amarth story-like atmosphere and "Live for the Kill," which finds the band incorporating a spine-tingling string section.
"Twilight of the Thunder God" is definitely worth picking up for Amon Amarth fans, just don't expect it to take the band's sound to another level. Expect a solid listen that will eventually be replaced by their older material in your iPod.
Review by: Quentin Haigh
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