AMON AMARTH - Surtur Rising [Review]

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Label: Metal Blade Records

Release Date: March 29, 2011

Reviewer: Spiritcrusher

I decided that I'm going to drop out of university, build a ship, sail across the Atlantic, destroy and eventually pillage the entire world. Yes, I just finished listening to Amon Amarth's album, Surtur Rising. Yes, it was awesome. No, Johan can't really sing like Serj (Tankian) in that cover of Aerials, but it still kicked ass.

Amon Amarth's latest album, Surtur Rising, doesn't seem to be much too different than Twilight of the Thunder God, but certainly stands out with some of its tracks, and is another great release worth BUYING. [Ed note: Spiritcrusher is super serial about this! Click here to order the record via iTunes]

The album opened up with War of the Gods and it was nothing less than awesome. It feels like Amon Amarth. It sounds like Amon Amarth. It probably smells like Amon Amarth, but I have a cold so I wouldn't know. Heavy riffs, and an EXCELLENT solo. It's catchy (and in a good way)…which is strange, because I tend to be put off by "catchy" songs.

Next track, Tock's Taunt - Loke's Treachery Part II is the second part of Hermod's Ride to Hell - Lokes Treachery Part 1 from With Oden on Our Side, and it has a totally different vibe than War of the Gods. It all about the low chugged riffs in this one. This really gives off the "viking" vibe of the band. I have to say I really enjoyed this and how both songs are so different yet fit together really well.

Destroyer of the Universe is an interesting track that blends in the older more aggressive Amon Amarth (I'm thinking Army of Darkness) with the newer more melodic songs from their last few albums. It comes off as a really upbeat song that blends in heavy riffing with some sweet melodies. I can picture that song being a fan favorite!

The Last Stand of Frej is definitely a track that stands out. It's not as fast, but it's heavy and melodic regardless. It's another song with a great battle-vibe but not the typical upbeat into battle one, which is always a nice change. I always feel like writing about the struggling warrior going through a living hell is a lot more intense than about hyping up for battle…maybe it's just me.

The rest of the tracks of this album are all fantastic, and all play a special role in making this album unique, although I do admit, I would have appreciated a few risk-taking elements in ALL the songs. I feel like some of the songs were very creative and had some new ideas in there, but some of the others seemed to be the same formula. Regardless of that, I loved all the songs and can't wait to see them live in May. [Ed note: Spiritcrusher should be interviewing the band during their stop in Boston; if all goes well and he doesn't have a cold, as he unfortunately did during the Jesse Leach interview last month, we'll be offering an audio interview with the band.]

An interesting comparison of Twilight of the Thunder God to Surtur Rising would be like System of a Down's Toxicity to Steal This Album; very similar music elements, but both still are able to stand out yet complement one another.

Speaking of System of a Down, how about that Amon Amarth Aerials cover? Many people were disappointed and thought Amon Amarth are on the verge of selling out. To be honest, I thought it was an enjoyable cover. I don't think Johan's singing in the chorus was that great, but Amon Amarth dropping the tuning made it all the better. The double bass viking metal build up in the end just made it all the better. This is what I love about covers; a band takes a great song and interprets it in their own way. I think it's great how they took a song from such a contrasting band. It's not only about emulating the song, but giving it a new perspective or a new identity!

Overall, Amon Amarth put out a great release worth buying. The artwork is beautiful, and so are the songs, although I do wish a few more risks were used in some of the tracks. Needless to say, however, I felt that they had a nice variety in the tracks in terms of their dynamics whether it's chugging riffs to melodic licks, from fast double bass drums to groovier rhythms. Some will like Twilight of the Thunder God a bit more, but I can't imagine anyone hating this album.

Excellent job, Amon Amarth; I raise my battle axe on behalf of Metality!


  1. Lol, whenever i listen to that interview with Jesse I sound like Fran from The Nanny :P

  2. This album isn't as good as Twilight or Oden's side, I don't belive the hype.
    War of the Gods is the best track on the album, A Breast am I is a little forced and sounds like an old Kreator song.

    Less Viking and more pedestrian old school death metal this album, it OK'ish. 6/10