The almighty AMON AMARTH's latest studio album was released a few days ago. This is their first album without longtime drummer Freidrik Anderssen in something like 17 years- since Once Sent From the Golden Hall, I think.
I'm about halfway through the album right now, and all I can say at the moment is, by Odin's Beard, this is AWESOME.
The riffs are absolute skull-crushers. The lyrics are epic. The bass is thunderous and brutal. The signature guitar sound that makes these guys so unique is still there, but heavier than ever thanks to Andy Sneap's awesome production. And as with the last four or five releases, Johan Hegg's rage-filled roars are much better placed within the mix, so that you can still growl along to the lyrics while actually understanding what the hell he's saying for a change.
And the drums, by Thor, THE DRUMS...
I don't know what the hell Tobias Gustafsson, their session drummer for this album, is taking along with his morning multivitamins, but whatever it is, HE NEEDS TO KEEP TAKING IT. I haven't heard an AMON AMARTH album this fresh, brutal, and epic since With Odin On Our Side, and that was released 10 years ago.
I'm going to give this plenty of listens after I see IRON MAIDEN play live tonight. (Yeah. That is actually happening. I am beyond stoked.) The Vikings will descend upon my part of the world in a little over three weeks, so I'll be able to see them live (for, like, the 8th time) then and see just how well this album's music stacks up live against their storied back-catalogue.
But so far, the signs are very promising indeed. This one looks like it's going to be an album for the ages.