Amon Amarth - Berserker review


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Band: Amon Amarth
Album: Berserker
Release date: May 2019

01. Fafner's Gold
02. Crack The Sky
03. Mjölner, Hammer Of Thor
04. Shield Wall
05. Valkyria
06. Raven's Flight
07. Ironside
08. The Berserker At Stamford Bridge
09. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll And Hati
11. Wings Of Eagles
12. Into The Dark

I enjoy myself so much when metal "connoisseurs" shit on popular bands. I mean, it's cool to be blasé towards something so many others like, isn't it? I'm glad I don't belong to this "enlightened" group of metalheads because, even though I love the underground and do believe that metal thrives because of it and is dead without it, I let myself appreciate the goods that catchiness and melody have to offer.

Amon Amarth are now one of the biggest metal bands and they have achieved this by delivering an almost completely unchanged Viking-themed melodic death metal product for more than twenty years. Critics argue that if you've listened to one album by them, it's like you've listened to their whole discography. This is more or less an accurate statement but, in my mind, it's irrelevant. If the music is good, sticking to the same formula is fine with me.

However, Amon Amarth did try to shuffle the cards with this record ever so slightly. For the first time they begin an album with acoustic guitars (I can hear Metallica's "Battery", how about you?) in "Fafner's Gold", which progressively evolves in what can be recognized as a quick-paced Amon Amarth classic. They dive deep into Iron Maiden territory with duelling guitars in "Mjölner, Hammer Of Thor" and "Raven's Flight". In fact, many of the solos in Berserker unashamedly mirror the British legends. On "Ironside" we briefly hear Johan Hegg's clean vocals, but this only proves that he should stick to the growls. "When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails" is a 70s-influenced curveball. The epic closer "Into The Dark" is a very emotional track with a dark intro and outro played with piano and strings.

Of course, it's not like Amon Amarth are a different band. "Crack The Sky" is just one of these ultimate gym songs with a riff that will remain stuck in your head for days. The battle-preparing drums, the crushing bass (note to reader: overall, the bass sound is the best the band has ever had), the bloodthirsty riffs, and the chorus of "Shield Wall" will make sweated metalheads go nuts at gigs and sum up why this band is so popular among us. "The Berserker At Stamford Bridge" has a great heroic story to back up the thrilling, heavy and slow-burning music. And "Wings Of Eagles" will surely motivate your lazy ass so as to work faster and build a boat for Ragnar Lothbrok.

It's true that the band's attempts to innovate are few and far between and this album will not exactly catch you off-guard, but you must take into account that they didn't have to push the envelope at all. It's also true that Amon Amarth have become more accessible with years passing and now even your annoying 15-year-old sister might like them. At the same time, even though they did try to add never before used elements in Berserker, 57 minutes is too long for any music that bears little variation. But hey, look at the positive side; more runtime means that the beard on your speakers (or headphones) will grow longer while playing this.

Let your hammer fly
Let the lightning crack the blackened skies"


Written on 04.05.2019 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!

Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 31   Visited by: 463 users
25.05.2019 - 13:03
Written by BitterCOld on 25.05.2019 at 05:00

P.S. - my love for you is like a truck.

I wish I had included Clerks somewhere in the review. Damn.

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