A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

Amon Amarth - Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds

1996 Independent :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-06-30

A vicious take on the "Gothenburg Sound", Amon Amarth come at you full force, ready to pummel your brain into mush. The store did compare them to In Flames, but if I had to draw a comparison, I would say they sound ten times more like Dark Tranquillity than In Flames... It's in the guitar work, which plays the melodic lines as 16th notes, instead of solo-esque melodies. This is just during the first three songs though, because it's on the last two tracks that Amon Amarth really come into their own as a band. The last track kicks serious ass. It's weird, the sound undergoes this immense transition (to my ears), but gradually, so that by the end, they sound almost like another band, but you've hardly noticed it. This is a really strong E.P. (about 20 minutes) which hopefully is a good precursor to their recently released Once Sent From the Golden Hall, available through Metal Blade Records. Kudos also to Metal Blade for picking this band up, hopefully with their new signings they can continue to stick around for another 15 years.

Amon Amarth - Once Sent from the Golden Hall

1998 Metal Blade Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-06-30

I've been listening to this album for quite a while now, and over time it continues to grow on me more and more. I liked Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds, but it seemed to suffer from the comparisons that are always drawn between the multitude of bands from this area. I mentioned that the last couple songs on that E.P. showed some real promise, and here it is realized! This album just rages! It's so intense that one of the band members got lost between the front and back cover! Seriously though, Once Sent... has everything required to be great, pummeling beats, muscular death vocals, ripping guitar melodies, it's in there... Drumming is spot on, much more double bass intensive and creative to boot. The guitarwork is just phenomenal, going from power riffing to melody to really nice lead spots. Vocals are more in the "Gothenburg" sound, pretty similar to Jester Race era In Flames (to my ears). Amon Amarth have also bypassed the repitition factor nicely, keeping things pretty fresh by mixing tempos and feel thoughout. Lyrics are pretty standard viking metal, from what I can hear, but this fits the atmosphere well, and with the incorporation of sampled swordplay, you can feel the agony of the battlefield. It is a rare album that evokes real emotion, and this happens to be one of them. There is a real element of despair that permeates this release. All in all, a release that is worthy to stand on it's own merits, hopefully leaving the inevitable comparisons to lesser bands that have jumped on the wagon. Might be a contender for a top ten in 98!

Amon Amarth - The Avenger

1999 Metal Blade Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-06-30

Back for the attack, these Swedish metallers have honed their Viking inspired mayhem further, shedding the more progressive elements which were present on their last release and concentrating more on the power and aggressional emotion for which this band has become known. Most of the change in this is due to the change in the drum seat, Fredde (ex-A Canorous Quintet) being more of a power drummer, where Martin Lopez (now in Opeth), had an almost jazzy feel at times. Nothing is compromised, thankfully, the band still writing the same breed of staccato riffs and melodious thunder. It's not much of a departure from Once Sent in that regard, Amon Amarth choosing not to deviate from something that works, but that's OK at this point. I will say this though, the final track, Legend of a Banished Man, is easily my favorite thing that AA has done so far, just being the best representation of what I think that the band is trying to accomplish through their music. A tremendous finale to a strong album, Amon Amarth have once again proved their worth in the metal scene, fortifying their position at the top of the food chain. Bravo.