AMON AMARTH – The Great Heathen Army
Twelve albums into their career and three decades as a band, Sweden’s longtime melodic death metal crafters Amon Amarth not only are one of my all time favorites in death metal, but I highly consider them as legend status in being one of the most influential and established bands of our time. Amon Amarth not only were one of the many bands that assisted me in discovering other artists within the melodic death metal spectrum, but being a fan since 2006’s With Oden On Our Side, that record itself became such a influence on me and I was instantly hooked in checking out earlier records and behold, all these years later I have been a Amon Amarth fan since.
It has been well over 3 years since the last time Amon Amarth made anything musically and here we are in 2022 we have the next chapter into the band’s career with The Great Heathen Army. Musically, it’s traditional Amon Amarth if you know their signature style and sound. This album heavily takes Amon Amarth’s melodic death metal signature blend and have also contributed some natural elements onto folk metal and a narrative presentation record still retaining Amon Amarth’s glorified melodic death elements on past records. From start, Amon Amarth certainly know their well way around the Gothenburg melodic death metal scene by unleashing finery melodic riffs, hummable dynamic riffs, alternating and triumphant full-speed and thrashy paced frenzies and impressive adopting signature-esque glorified crunch patterns are a creative force driving blend of death, folk and melodic death metal displays continually to shift mechanical, injected varieties and showcases prominent selective tracks which wraps a nice presentable attempt.
The Great Heathen Army still retains the band’s thick-and-thin musical compositions and generated stronger emphasis on intelligent themes, organic tendencies of drumming, bass and guitar and Johan’s visceral guttural vocal deliverance are an absorbing rich history which nevertheless showed a new evolution. This album also proved Amon Amarth can still maintain consistency, contrast, heroic and adventurous territory and stylistically, musically and atmospherically, The Great Heathen Army ultimately brings natural characteristics into the same general format with 2006’s With Oden On Our Side, 2008’s Twilight Of The Thunder Gods and 2011’s Surtur Rising. The Great Heathen Army is an valuable, ambitious and exhilarating album that promises to rotate and create heavier melodic death, folk and Viking/Norse mythology lyrics into a nice progression.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Jake Butler