Friday, October 16, 2015

Best of Amon Amarth

Another discography fully reviewed, and I have to say, this may be one of my favourite discography reviews so far. To follow the band and their evolution album by album was a real treat, and the high standard helped it making a very enjoyable experience. This has definitely made me appreciate the band even more than what I did before, and it also opened my eyes up on their older material, that rough as it may be, is still a interesting listen, and a very important part of the band. Enough talk, these are the best bits from Amon Amarth and their discography.

Best albums

3. Versus The World
This is the album that completed the band's transformation, from being an underground black metal band, to melodic death metal mega stars. Okay, I may have over exaggerated over that transformation happening over one album, but "Versus The World" certainly laid the foundation for what would come for the band in the future. The crisp production and the melodic riffs ties tightly together into a extremely strong force of viking metal.

2. With Oden On Our Side
Out of all of the nine albums in the discography, there is no other album that possesses more variation than "With Oden On Our Side". This album displays everything that has made Amon Amarth such a strong force in the metal world. From the catchy riffs and epic melodies, to the beautiful moods and neck breaking speeds, the band unleashes a full on assault to match a viking brigade with a thousand ships. Oden must be proud.

1. Twilight of The Thunder God
I had the same dilemma when I had to rank the albums of Iron Maiden, how do you separate two albums that got a perfect score? It all fell on which was the most memorable, and that meant that "Twilight..." won by a land slide. Who can forget songs like the title track, "Guardians of Asgaard", "The Hero" and "Where's Your God?". Everything else is almost perfect, great production, awesome instrumentation, and a consistency that reaches the astronomical heights. A album worthy for the gods.

Worst album

Fate of Norns
I should really stop using the phrase worst if the album actually is not bad. "Fate of Norns" is the most bland Amon Amarth album of the bunch, and it does not contain too many memorable pieces, but that does not mean it is a bad album. It just misses some creativity and personality, that's all. Still contains some good punch in it (like "The Pursuit of Vikings" and the title track).

Best songs

5. Amon Amarth
This 8 minute piece is far from the fastest song the band has made, but it makes up for it with an incredible mood, perfectly executed riffing, and a Hegg that delivers his grimmest of vocal performances. A true gem in a fairly muddy record.

4. Twilight of The Thunder God
As the song that made me discover the band, "Twilight.." contains all of the elements that has made the band so successful today. The long sweeping riffs, the memorable melodies, and the brutal voice of Johan Hegg. If you do not know where to start in discovering the band, I suggest you start with this song.

3. The Hero
A moving saga about a man and his regrets that certainly shows just how good the band really is. It is a different song from what the band usually does, but that is what makes it so good, it shows that the band has an incredible range, and that they can handle it really well. One of the more underrated songs from "Twilight..."

2. Destroyer of The Universe
Delivering a attack worthy of its name, "Destroyer of The Universe" runs over the listener with aggressive riffs, and inhuman speed. A heavily addictive song that gives you the license to go bat shit crazy.

1. Cry of The Black Birds
Damn, I love the beauty of this song. Because even if it heavy, melodic, rifftastic, and epic all at the same time, it is that sad, beautiful feeling that takes this song above them all. There is not an inch of my body that does not escape the goose bumps when this comes on.

Best album cover

The Avenger

I usually like more detailed album covers. Covers that has a lot of intricate details all over the square it fills. But there is something with "The Avenger" and its simplicity that really speaks to me. It is my favourite mostly because this reads loud and clearly as a viking metal album, and doing so without the use of a horned helmet or any of the gods is pretty impressive. This cover looks like it is ready to do battle.

Overall discography verdict

Quality: 9/10
The ratings speaks for itself. So far, the band has not done a single album I fully dislike, which is a really good thing. And the top of the discography is not too bad either.

Creativity: 8/10
The transformation the band has gone through definitely shows that the band possess a lot of creativity inside those skulls, and several well diverse album just confirms that fact.

Band chemistry: 9/10
If it was not for Fredrik Andersson leaving the band earlier this year, I would easily put a perfect 10 here. These guys know each other inside out, and they have a great chemistry on stage that shows it.

Musicality: 8/10
Most of the musicality is on Olavi Mikkonen, Johan Söderberg, and their great arsenal of riffs. The remaining parts of the band are no beginners them self, showing off some great execution in every album.

Lyrics: 8/10
Amon Amarth and its lyrics is best explained as Norse mythology for dummies, but that does not mean the lyrics are simple and shallow. The band knows how to create a epic story and tell the history of the gods.

Album rating summary

Once Sent From The Golden Hall: 7,5/10
The Avenger: 7/10
The Crusher: 7,5/10
Versus The World: 9,5/10
Fate of Norns: 6,5/10
With Oden On Our Side: 10/10
Twilight of The Thunder God: 10/10
Surtur Rising: 9,5/10
Deceiver of The Gods: 8/10
Jomsviking: 8,5/10

Average rating: 8,4/10

With that said and done, what are your favourite bits out of the band's discography, and do they deserve the recognition they have gotten, or are they simply just overrated? Do not be afraid to share your opinion, either here on the commentary field below, or via twitter (@FATGreviews).

This means I am gonna start a new discography review soon, but which band it is gonna be is yet not decided. If you have any suggestions, you know where to reach me.

Stay Metal
Robert "Sharkruisher" Andersson

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