Amon Amarth Surtur Rising Review
I was very excited to learn that we had received a copy of Amon Amarth’s newest album Surtur Rising ahead of it’s scheduled March 29th release. It has been 3 years since the release of Twilight of the Thunder God which was the band’s most critically acclaimed and best selling release of their career. Could the follow-up top it? In short, yes. If you take their recipe for death metal success in today’s world you would include lyrical themes of vikings, war, and religion.
Take that and throw in near-perfect drumming, memorable guitar riffs and solos, with a touch of some the best death growls in the metal scene and you have a potential to sell many records while keeping your fan base happy.
Amon Amarth use a similar approach from their last album with Surtur but with a darker edge. While their sound hasn’t exactly changed in the sense that it’s still death metal the lyrical competent has a slightly less epic feel. With Surtur, the Norse mythology from past releases now reflects with relevance to society’s fear of religion, politics, and how mankind is steered towards these things.
Only a few of the songs touch upon those themes as a deeper philosophical message is evident throughout the album. The band does a great job of tying in these deeper themes and simply relaying those thoughts onto Viking warriors. There is definitely the old school vibe tied in with a newer message.
If this is lost on you remember that Johan Hegg always reminds the audience when encouraging them to singalong “It’s death metal, nobody knows what you are saying anyway.”
The guitar work provided by Johan Söderberg and Olavi Mikkonen are what make the album stand out as the two never really try to outdo one another and rather switch-off as to who will lead when. The guitar work is more melodic and somewhat playful as the songs change from fast “signature Amon Amarth” to slightly slower works without the thrash element. The change in tempo isnt major as it’s Amon Amarth at it’s best.
The production value is fantastic as the band teamed up with Jens Bogren for the second straight release and it kind of makes me grateful at how good metal can sound now thanks to the right recording methods. A stand out track to look out for is “For Victory or Death” as the ferocity of the title is equally matched by the music found on it.
This album is worthy of your time and money because the band continues to put out solid metal tracks as they evolve in different aspects in their genre. Surtur is no different as it’s still very heavy and mean as you would expect from the seasoned veterans. Enjoy the opening track below and be sure to check back as an exclusive interview with guitarist Olavi Mikkonen should be posted in the coming days.