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Amon Amarth – ‘The Great Heathen Army’

Publisher
Metal Blade Records
FFO
King of Asgard, Wulfgar, Valkenrag, Wolfheart, Vinterblot
Release Date
August 5, 2022
Publisher
Metal Blade Records
Genre
Melodic Death Metal

When it comes to accessible melodic death metal, there are no bands who are as recognisable these days as Amon Amarth. For the last 25 years, the Swedes have flown the flag for Viking themed melo death and now, three years on from their 2019 ‘Berserker’ album, Amon Amarth are back with their latest album ‘The Great Heathen Army’.

                Amon Amarth are one of those bands who are not suddenly going to change what they do and ‘The Great Heathen Army’ is another beast of an offering from Johan Hegg and co. Unlike some of Amon Amarth’s recent work where many fans thought the Swedes were treading water, this latest offering from Amon Amarth has the band taking a little bit of a step back towards the style of those mid-00’s albums. Tracks such as ‘Skagul Rides with Me’, ‘The Serpents Trail’ and ‘Dawn of Norsemen’ have the sort of anthemic quality which wouldn’t be out of place on the likes of ‘Fate of Norns’ and ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’. Of course, there is some cheese here, ‘Get in the Ring’ and the bleating during ‘Heidrun’ coupled with the lyrics: “who’s the goat?! Who’s the goat?!” make the listener smile. However, the best track here is ‘Saxons and Vikings’ a beast of a song which features Biff Byford of Saxon trading vocals back and forth with Hegg in the best battle of the era since Stamford Bridge, even if the riff is a little reminiscent of ‘Hail to the Hordes’ by Kreator.

                ‘The Great Heathen Army’ is Amon Amarth doing what they do best. It is the sound of the Swedes back on top form and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if this album was riding high at the end of the year.

"‘The Great Heathen Army’ is Amon Amarth doing what they do best"
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