Amon Amarth – Berserker
Metal Blade Records (North America)/Sony Music (International)
Release Date: 03/05/2019
Running Time: 56:35
Review by Tsarina Wilson
Amon Amarth’s eleventh full-length “Berserker” is a non-stop beast of an album with killer riffs, growling vocals and more energy than ten well known energy drinks and if you’re not headbanging by the end, I think you need to look into your choice of musical taste!
The band, which consists of Johan Hegg on vocals, Ted Lundstrom on bass, Johan Soderberg on guitar, Olavi Mikkonen also on guitar and Jocke Wallgren on Drums definitely knows how to pack a punch into an album.
Each track is its own mini story with awesome drumming and guitar riffs. Hegg’s gravel voice is epic, yet, unlike a lot of bands of this genre, you can still understand him which is a blessing as the power that goes into all the tracks would be lost and that would be a shame. These fast and heavy songs have brutal melodies whilst not missing a beat and go into some of the craziest riffs I have heard in a while.
The Swedish band recorded the album in Los Angeles with renowned studio guru Jay Ruston (Anthrax/Stone Sour) manning the controls and it was after recording several rounds for the new songs (initially with fellow Swedish metal icon Peter Tagtgren and later with Ruston himself) the band crossed the Atlantic to make the final recording in LA.
The track “The Berserker At Stamford Bridge” is a visceral but vivid historical tale, recounting the Vikings last stand against the English army in 1066 and with epic lyrics such as “Englishmen, I am waiting here, in my heart I know not one ounce of fear”, it conjures images in your head of a Viking stood tall and strong, wielding a axe not scared of death one bit.
Johan Hegg says that this is Amon Amarth 2.0 and I must agree. This album is so intense and powerful. Why would a band want to just keep going over and over the same things? Fans would soon wander off, so the fact they plan to explore themselves musically is only going to benefit us fans and they certainly are a band who wants to please the fans as well as themselves.
Hegg admits he has (and I quote) “the best fucking job in the word” and you can tell this by the album. They are not a band who just put lyrics to music and bang out album after album. There is a definite vibe in the album, a passion, a dynamic which has the hairs on the back of your neck on edge. It’s like listening to a metal story book and you need to keep listening to find out the next chapter.
Amon Amarth give it 100% and it shows, even the album cover is epic.
What can I say? Impressed? Yes! Love it? Hell yes! These guys give it hell.
01. Fafner’s Gold
02. Crack The Sky
03. Mjolner, Hammer Of Thor
04. Shield Wall
06. Ravens Flight
08. The Berserker At Stamford Bridge
09. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll ans Hati
11. Wings Of Eagles
12. Into The Darkness
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