Amon Amarth- The Avenger
Band Homeland- Sweden
Released in 1999 on Metal Blade records, "The Avenger" is an incredibly powerful follow-up to their already crushing albums "Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds" (1995) and "Once Sent From The Golden Hall (1998) . The Avenger" sees the men from Sweden once again take their rightful place as Odin's own, as well as bringing forth a metal album that is unparalleled in it's production, technical complexity, and sheer brutality. "The Avenger" has a total running time of 36:09, and I can't think of a better way to spend a little over ½ an hour doing anything else.
The album explodes into your world like Vikings from a dragon ship landing on a soft coastal village from the very start. No sweet and soft melody here, Amon Amarth is a band of action and they bring axe and sword to every tonal assault. The opening track "Bleed for an Ancient God" erupts from your speakers and it takes no prisoners this day. The drumming by Fredrik Andersson is not as technical as some of the other musician in his field perhaps, but the effectiveness of his brutal and straightforward assault is undeniable. If you don't find yourself banging along with his relentless doublekick, you don't like Metal.
The technical guitar harmonies created by Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg create the wailing and mournful but unforgiving rhythms that so completely compliment the foundation works made by Fredrik Andersson and Ted Lundstrom (bassist). On top of this musical masterpiece is where Johan Hegg plies his trade of extreme vocals and oaths of death and victory. Combined as one unstoppable force, Amon Amarth shows the world what Metal should be.
This is admittedly a biased and unbalanced review, and quite frankly I don't care. I write about bands I have a passion for and when it comes to Amon Amarth, no others can possibly compare.
All Hail Amon Amarth.
1 Bleed For Ancient Gods