Sunday, 5 June 2011

CD Review: With Oden On Our Side, by Amon Amarth (2006)

Amon Amarth continue to polish their tried and true formula. With Oden On Our Side, the band's seventh studio album, is a satisfyingly consistent set of Viking-inspired metal, the band occasionally touching magical heights as they experiment with stronger, more complex melodies, and never falling short of the standards they started to establish on Fate Of Norns.

Oden, the father of Thor no less, is a multi-talented god in Norse mythology, associated with war, battle, victory and death, as well as wisdom, magic, poetry and prophecy. Perfect inspiration, then, for a band that has come to define the soundtrack of Viking metal.

Gods Of War Arise is the most inspired track, Amon Amarth once again sounding at their best when they take the risks needed to overlay a strong melody and soaring guitar work on their ever-present, all-powerful strumming. Hermod's Ride To Hel also benefits from a slower-than usual pace and a searching, thoughtful staccato riff. Under The Northern Star is an epic expedition onto a stark landscape consisting mostly of ice fields, sustained only by the warmth generated from the evocative guitars of Soderberg and Mikkonen.

As usual Johan Hegg holds the music together with his controlled, never showy low growl vocals, perfectly suited to the canvass that the band paints on.

On With Oden On Our Side, Amon Amarth's music evolves in small steps, but it evolves in the right direction while remaining close and true to band's core strength.


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

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Valhall Awaits Me - 8
2. Runes To My Memory - 8
3. Asator - 7
4. Hermod's Ride To Hel - Lokes Treachery Part 1 - 9
5. Gods Of War Arise - 10 *see below*
6. With Oden On Our Side - 7
7. Cry Of The Black Birds - 7
8. Under The Northern Star - 9
9. Prediction Of Warfare - 8

Average: 8.11

Produced, Mixed and Engineered by Jens Bogren.
Mastered by Thomas Eberger.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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