Amon AmarthBerserker

✦✦✧✧ This album is fifteen minutes longer than Amon Amarth usually give us; this is one of those times when less would likely have been more. There are some gems of Viking metal, and I could imagine slipping a couple of these tracks into my lifting playlist, but there’s an awful lot of Not on here as well.


Amon AmarthJomsviking

✦✦✦✧ At first listen, something feels very off about this latest album from Amon Amarth. The first half in particular finds the band sacrificing their trademark ferocity in exchange for a catchy menace that feels more at home among Soilwork’s darker tunes. Still, the songwriting is tighter than ever, and each member of the band gets props for mixing things up a bit, instead of sticking fast to formula (all of which makes me suspect that this album will grow on me over time).


Knotfest Japan Full Report

Live Report :
Knotfest Japan 2014
Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan
November 15-16, 2014

November 15

Completely sold out, Knotfest Japan launched in the crisp, cold morning with two opening bands, including the Japanese hardcore band Crystal Lake. Their brief set got the crowd warmed up, with hardcore fans “picking up change” in the pit and the rest of us head-banging.


The Avenger

Now, on to 1999’s the Avenger. The opening drum flourish lets you know that, if nothing else, Amon Amarth have raised the production values on this one from the somewhat lackluster sound of their debut album. Other than that, very little has changed on this platter. They continue with their already comfortable midtempo minor key riffing, trademark sound in place.