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Amon Amarth: The Great Heathen Army

Amon Amarth are the undisputed kings of Viking metal. They have been forging a legacy for 30 years, seeing their style of music grow from obscurity to a position of relative main stream status- they’ve arguably popularized Viking metal and are now a legitimate global headliner. Their latest album The Great Heathen Army was released on August 5th.

I’ve enjoyed this bands studio work and live show for a long time now, although my favourite album of theirs was released some 14 years ago (2008’s Twilight of the Thundergod). All the way through their career their recorded work has been strong and constant to the point that a common criticism of Amon Amarth in recent times is that they’re not necessarily offering the listener anything new with each new release. I guess the other way to look at this trait is that they’ve got an instantly recognizable sound and have developed a song writing formula that works for them.

It’s a strange thing to say but I find this album to be a really fun album. Sure, its not pushing the boundaries or doing anything particularly new, but the riffing and melodies are strong and the vocals are powerful. Most of the tracks are around 4 mins in length; they’re short and sharp and have the typical Amon Amarth/melodic death hallmarks- the album isn’t short of memorable hooks and melodies.

At the heart of it The Great Heathen Army is just a solid, easy listening metal album for my taste -this will be Meat and potatoes fare for most fans of heavy metal. My favourite tracks are "Get in the Ring", "Oden Owns You All", and "Saxons and Vikings", which features guest vocals from Biff Byford (Saxon). The collaboration between Saxon and Amon Amarth is perhaps a little cheesy, but as its all-in good fun and this vibe is in keeping with the rest of the album.

This album isn’t vying for album of the year in my reckoning, however it’s the sort of album that I could put on in most moods and enjoy. Like all Amon Amarth albums, it does what it says it will do on the tin. A worthy release in the annals of Amon Amarth.

Track Listing
1 Get in the Ring
2 The Great Heathen Army
3 Heidrun Lyrics
4 Oden Owns You All
5 Find a Way or Make One
6 Dawn of Norsemen
7 Saxons and Vikings
8 Skagul Rides with Me
9 The Serpent's Trail Lyrics

Added: August 8th 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 880
Language: english

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