Sunday, 22 May 2011

CD Review: Fate Of Norns, by Amon Amarth (2004)

The sixth album from Sweden's Amon Amarth finds them hitting their stride with a distinctive, dark brand of melodic death metal, inspired by a combination of the frozen tundra and marauding Vikings. Fate Of Norns is a to-the-point collection of eight tracks, all similar in style and mood, weaving doomsday melodies into Amon Amarth's signature dense wall of noise. Yes there is a sameness to the music, but it resides in enjoyable epic territory where there is a lot to explore and admire.

In Norse mythology, Norns are female beings who rule the destiny of men, and on Fate Of Norns Amon Amarth define their destiny, delivering metal as a soundtrack to epic myths populated by Vikings, warriors and heroes seeking inspiration from the gods.

An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm represents the evolving Amon Amarth sound, a foundation built on Frederik Andersson's mammoth drums, texture but no drama provided by the guitars of Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg, while Johan Hegg growls his low tone, mono-syllabic vocals deep from within a frozen cave. The Pursuit Of Vikings is the catchiest song on the CD, a galloping mid-tempo riff defining a rusty chain onto which Mikkonen and Soderberg attach mammoth chords and legendary strumming. Where Death Seems To Dwell, title track The Fate Of Norns, and The Beheading Of The King serve more of the same beefy broth, flexing muscles with dense layers of music, always finding an interesting hook to garnish the band's immense power.

Fate Of Norns is comfortably good, predictably enjoyable once the tone is set, making up for the lack of variety with excellence in delivering what the Amon Amarth sound is all about.


Fredrik Andersson - Drums
Ted Lundstrom - Bass
Olavi Mikkonen - Guitars
Johan Soderberg - Guitars
Johan Hegg - Vocals

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm - 9
2. Where Death Seems To Dwell - 8
3. The Fate Of Norns - 8
4. The Pursuit Of Vikings - 9
5. Valkyries Ride - 7
6. The Beheading Of A King - 8
7. Arson - 7
8. Once Sealed In Blood - 7

Average: 7.88

Produced by Amon Amarth and Berno Paulsson.
Engineered by Berno Paulsson and Patrik Wulff.
Mixed and Mastered by Berno Paulsson.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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