Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising [2011]

Band: Amon Amarth
Album: Surtur Rising
Release Year: 2011
Genre: Death Metal

“Surtur Rising” is the eighth studio album Swedish melodic death metal quintet “Amon Amarth”. It is due for release on 29th March 2011 through Metal Blade Records.

The album begins with “War of the Gods”. The track begins with a distorted yet melodic guitar riff which is soon accompanied by a beasty scream and a brutal drum assault.  The vocals are as brutal as they should be, working very well with the distorted guitar riffs. The tempo and riffs keep switching throughout the track, making it a brilliant beginning to an album. The lyrics, which speak of the battle between the tribes of Norse gods, are well composed. The guitar solo is simply amazing, perhaps one of the best ones to be heard on an “Amon Amarth” album. The track ends on a very brutal note.

“Tock’s Taunt – Loke’s Treachery Part II” is next. It begins with a melodic riff, which is much lighter than the riffs from the previous track. The vocals are still brutal but don’t seem to work well with the lighter riff. Even the drums seem to have lost their brutality. The can be heard clearly as well. The riff changes and gets a tad heavier as the vocals go more brutal, but still failing to work well with one another. Even the guitar solo fails to impress on this track. “Destroyer of the Universe” follows next and it is far heavier than the previous track. The guitars, drums and vocals are all as brutal as each other, the vocals certainly sound more powerful. The use of a shredding guitar section near towards the middle of the track is brilliant. The guitar solo is a huge improvement from the previous track as well.

Next is “Slaves of Fear” which begins with a semi-heavy intro riff mixed with some light drums. The track does turn heavier though, with increased brutality from the drums. The vocals still sound powerful, which is always a good thing. The riffs played on this track are astounding. Just over half way through the track turns extremely light for a few seconds before a funky guitar riff kicks in to bring back the brutality. The guitar solo pretty much completes this track. The next track is “Live Without Regrets” which begins with a heavy and brutal guitar-drum intro which soon turns slightly melodic. The vocals work really well with the guitars and drums, giving the track that extra dash of Swedish-styled brutality. The track turns light near the end with the low guttural screams of “When we die!” echoing throughout.

“The Last Stand Of Frej” is next. It begins with a slow yet brutally heavy and melodic guitar intro. The vocals bring in another level of brutality to the track, working welll with the slow paced tempo of the guitar and drums. The vocals sound extremely aggressive in some sections of the track as well. The pace of the drum increases slightly whilst the guitars stay at the pace they began with. Even the guitar solo is slow, but that somehow adds to the sheer awesomeness of the track. “For Victory Or Death” comes straight after, beginning with a fast paced and brutal intro. There is a use of clean guitar shortly after the intro and just before the vocals kick in. The vocals don’t seem to work too well with the melodic riff. The drums are well played and heavy compared to the melodic guitar riffs.

Next is “Wrath of the Norsemen”. It begins with a faded guitar intro which gets louder and louder.  The guitars sound heavier compared to the guitars in the previous track and the vocals are just as strong. The guitar solo fits in really well with the rest of the track as well. “A Beast Am I” comes next, beginning with a melodic and semi-brutal intro. When the vocals come in the brutality increases in a slight bit. In parts, the vocals sound as if they’re having a hard time keeping up with the fast tempo of the guitars. The drums sound as good as ever and they pretty much complete the section for the guitar solo. The track seems to end on a fast but brutal note but carries on into a slow acoustic riff which is accompanied by a slow, overdriven guitar riff.

“Doom Over Dead Man” is the final track. It begins heavier than how the last track ended, featuring a bit of orchestration in the intro riff as well. The drums seem light compared to the previous tracks. The drums don’t improve in heaviness throughout most of the track. The vocals are still strong. About halfway through the track, everything turns heavier, including the drums. The track turns light in terms of the drums again for a short while but that soon changes towards the end of the track. The track ends with a faded out guitar-and-drum section.

“Surtur Rising” has both its good qualities and its bad qualities. However, despite the bad qualities, it is a great album. The production values are fantastic and the vast majority of the album is well composed.


Nico Davidson

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