September 28, 2022

Amon Amarth: The Great Heathen Army – 2nd Review

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Viking Metal

Release date: August 5

Tracks :

Get in the ring,
The Great Heathen Army,
Heidrun,
Oden belongs to you all,
Find a way or create one,
Dawn of the Normans,
Saxons and Vikings,
Skagul rides with me,
The trail of the snake,

Line up:

Olavi Mikkonen – Guitar

Johan Hegg – Vocals

Ted Lundström – Bass

Johan Söderberg – Guitar

Jocke Wallgren – Drums

When I first saw Amon Amarth at Bloodstock Indoor in 2005 and never thought that 17 years later they would be headlining major venues, but even then their shows had a scale and ambition.

So welcome to Amon Amarth’s 12th album to date. A sequel to 2019’s Berserker whose touring and promotion was devastated by the global covid outbreak. A brave decision not to wait and shoot the album now but rather to do something new.

It still had the makings of something especially since it had the great Andy Sneap in charge.

The musical progression and evolution is evident on each of the tracks, although this is perhaps a nod to the past and is darker death metal than heavy metal like we see it on the album Berserker.

The opening track Get in the ring was written for a friend of the band, wrestler Erick Rowan who uses it as ring entrance music. What a way to start an album, the perfect mix of struggle and Vikings, the story of battles to come.

Some interesting tracks are Skagal Rides With Me and The Serpent’s Tail which could be a whole new genre of symphonic viking death metal with their cinematic sweep and epic conclusion.

The standout track is Saxons and Vikings which sees a collaboration with Saxon’s Biff Bufford sharing the vocals and tells the story of the Viking invasion of Wessex in 871 AD. The contrast between Johan’s growling vocals and Biff’s more traditional metal voice works well.

Overall, the band’s musical progression and evolution is evident on each of the tracks, though perhaps it’s a nod to the past and is darker death metal than heavy metal as seen on the album Berserker.

If you want a reminder of how far they’ve come since 2005, check out their performance at BOA in 2017 here:

Rating 9/10

Reviewed by: Adrian Young

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