Vera : Some albums just got that special aura and they are fascinating from the beginning till the end. The Vikings of Amon Amarth can look back on five excellent records, but they leave every rivalry far behind them with their sixth studio album 'With Oden On Our Side'.
Just like proper Vikings ought to be, they set out for new conquests in nine new stunning tracks. More fierce than ever, for songs like 'Runes To My Memory' and 'Cry Of The Black Birds' nearly border on crushing blastbeat alike rhythms. Do not fear however that their epic penchants are lost, for a song such as 'Hermod's Ride To Hel - Lokes Treachery Part 1' can only originate from Amon Amarth. Fiery guitars in the background, delicious well-balanced riffs and a bit slower vocals, almost trailing. This apparent conjunction of opposites results in a ravishing composition in which the band reminds me of Novembers Doom just for a moment. Strange but true. And also in 'Under The Northern Star', lyrically based on the homecoming of Vikings after their battle, one may hear some tragic and melancholic tinge, so that we can speak of an epic masterpiece.
Besides I have the impression that vocalist Johan Hegg still improves himself and sings with a lot of variegation. 'Gods Of War Arise' carries some elements which spontaneously jog my memory of 'Victorious March' of the first album 'Once Sent From The Golden Hall', now about eight years ago. Fortuitously that is one of my favourite songs of the band of which the fetching sounds always stayed in my memory. Amon Amarth worked hard on the recordings of this album and you can hear that. They were assisted by Jens Bogren at the Fascination Studio and that is a producer who earlier brought out the best of bands like Soilwork, Katatonia and Opeth, so we can speak of an ultra chunky production. You should almost regret that this new material could not be found on their recently released three double DVD 'Wrath Of The Norsemen', but of course this is one more reason to buy 'With Oden On Our Side' immediately. Moreover, I am sure that these new smashing songs will be included in the set list of the gigs they have scheduled later this year. Be sure to be there! And be sure to buy this pretty fast, because the limited digipack contains a bonus CD with six extra tracks.