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Amon Amarth: With Odin On Our Side

After the decent but somewhat lackluster Fate of Norns, Sweden's masters of Viking Metal, Amon Amarth, come roaring back with the solid With Odin On Our Side a rip snortin' collection of deathly heavy metal that will have you raising your fist in the air and banging your head in no time. While their last album really put the band on the map, it was their previous platter Versus the World that fans really look to as the definitive statement from the band. With Odin On Our Side may not top that classic, but it's a kick ass blast of death metal nontheless.

Most of the tried and true Amon Amarth formula is here, so don't expect any surprises, but the songs seem to be heavier and more epic sounding this time around. Led as always by the gravelly growls of frontman Johan Hegg, who you can always imagine screaming into the microphone, shirt off, sword in one hand and either a pint of lager or leg of mutton in the other, the rest of the band rampaging triumphantly behind him. The guitars of Johan Soderberg and Olavi Mikkonen are brutal yet so melodic on "Gods Of War Arise", as they pummel with crushing riffs and tantalize your sophisticated senses with plenty of harmony parts. Lyrically, you get stories of warriors, sword battles, storms, horses, long journeys, and various other Viking related situations, so it's entertaining to read along while the band gallops through one bombastic piece after another. The title track is a chugging number with lots of intricate yet thunderous drum and guitar parts, plus the lethal yet catchy vocal lines from Hegg. In fact, that's a formula that you can expect for most of the album, and while for some that may be a tad predictable, overall this is quality stuff that draws more on classic early 80's metal like Judas Priest or Iron Maiden that it does from modern day death metal-if you don't believe that listen to the galloping and epic sounds of "Cry Of The Black Birds", especially the super-charged and melodic lead harmony lines and intricate riffs. Heavy, complex, yet very melodic.

So get your axe, sword, and shield ready, hop on your stallion and get ready for battle -as long as you have "Odin on your side", you are sure to be victorious. So sayeth Amon Amarth-hails!


Track Listing
1. Valhall Awaits Me
2. Runes To My Memory
3. Asator
4. Hermod's Ride To Hel-Lokes Treachery Part 1
5. Gods Of War Arise
6. With Oden On Our Side
7. Cry Of The Black Birds
8. Under The Northern Star
9. Prediction Of Warefare

Added: December 26th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Amon Amarth Website
Hits: 1780
Language: english

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Amon Amarth: With Odin On Our Side
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-12-26 10:00:53
My Score:

We last faced the Wrath of the Norsemen as they defended the Fate Of Norns in the name of Metal with hammers and horns raised high above their enemy's heads. The crushing blows received by both the CD and DVD bearing those names would not cease and together help bring us to the victory charge that is felt on every track of With Oden On Our Side. The album is a pummeling effort to say the least and starts off with a charged up track entitled "Valhall Awaits Me" it's a song that makes you feel as though you are riding into glorious battle with the band armed with whatever they feel is necessary to ensure their dominance over their foes. Perhaps there are no real musical surprises on this album as some have said, but that does not mean the group has veered far from the course they travel with certain levels of command. This is probably the most "accessible" of the Amon Amarth records released for while a true Death Metal band, they show levels of respect for the earlier founders of Metal from the eighties on the recording. You hear this especially in the riffing done during "Hermod's Ride To Hel" while songs like "Gods Of War Arise"' have sections that just instantly make your fist form and rise to the sky above. In typical Amon Amarth fashion the lyrical content is quite the same as they had delivered in the past and every song is loaded with epic battle tales, and this makes for some interesting following along with the lyrics in the booklet they provide. They do take this very seriously as they cite during "Runes To My Memory" which singer Johan Clegg tells the world how he wants his death to be treated. Clegg himself is an imposing individual and definitely is to be taken at his word.

The other members of the group are Olavi Mikkonen (guitar), Johan Soderberg (guitar), Ted Lundstrom (bass) and Fredrik Andersson (drums). Tight and powerful players who ensure the level of thunderous music are not faltering on each and every track. I really felt that drummer Fredrik was a large part of the success in their ability to riff like they did for he is on point at every second with a tasteful technique. The band excels on tracks such as "Cry Of The Blackbirds" and this is one of my favorites as well as the trudging and powerful "Under The Northern Star". Diehard fans might not find this album their favorite Amon Amarth recording, but it certainly is the type of album that will be able to bring new fans into their ever-amassing army. The new ones can use this CD and the career encompassing DVD boxed set to get a full and educated idea about the group. Now, its time to saddle up and ride once again with the guys in Amon Amarth by your side it is certain that Odin himself smiles down on your inevitable victory.




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