AMON AMARTH - Fate Of Norns LP (Ochre Brown Vinyl)
Includes lyrics insert and large 2-sided poster.
The last two Amon Amarth albums did not really impress me all that much. "The Crusher" was OK, having a few really good songs but severely lacking something, and "Versus The World" lacked even more. But the viking metal maniacs have returned with a new album and a light that has not been seen since "The Avenger".
The songwriting has increased a hundred fold since "Versus The World", having overall better riffs and melodies. The speed of the "Golden..." days has disappeared (the fastest song - "Beheading Of A King" - is nowhere near the brutality of "Metalwrath" or "Bastards Of A Lying Breed") but the lack of speed is not an issue on this album. Most of the album is indeed midpaced, but with the many good riffs and melodic passages this results in a much more epic feel to the album. Every member of the band seems to be on top of their game in this album, something they have not done since "The Avenger".
The only weak song on here would have to be "The Valkyries Ride", only because it is subpar to the album (every album has one anyways right?). The main highlights would have to be "The Fate Of Norns", "Once Sealed In Blood" and the slower (even for this speed-free album!) epic "Arson".