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“Twilight Of The Thunder God” by Amon Amarth

Artist: Amon Amarth
Title: “Twilight Of The Thunder God”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 9/30/2008
Genre: Death Metal
Rating: 4/5

Stand yourself at the ready with attentive eye and sharpened sword for it is time to once again do battle at the side of the Vikings of Death Metal Amon Amarth as they pummel the senses with their latest epic “Twilight Of The Thunder God”. As an album this stands proud and strong as the perfect follower to their previous effort “With Odin On Our Side” and in some cases delivers a bit of a musical upgrade as it finds the band raising their own personal bar in terms of their delivery. “TOTTG” resonates with Metal power as soon as it begins and there is such a driving force behind the albums title track that the listener feels as though he is riding into the fray at the side of Johan Hegg – the bands giant of a front man. To me that is an effective beginning because it draws you in immediately as opposed to waiting for any of the action and intensity to build up. Those who have enjoyed Amon Amarth in the past already know this but those who are new might not realize that while Viking in theme and generally spirit, that their music is still a more conventional Melodic Death Metal that calls to mind some aspects of Thrash as opposed to being anything Folkish which we find more commonly in bands like Ensiferum or Turisas. Despite this, the bands energies on the new album focus on the mythology of Thor, the Norse God of Thunder and many of the songs sing about his majesty and adventures. The guitars of Johan Soderberg and Olavi Mikkonen really shine brightly here as they trade leads and truly crushing riffs in order to drive the bands point home with much more resolve. While the album maintains certain heaviness from beginning to end they wisely don’t make every single tune a Thrash Fest which allows them each to remain interesting individually and not bleed into one another by keeping the same tempo and vibe. Too often do the Death Metal bands have tracks that go from one to the next and often find the listener wondering if a new song had begun. I had to offer up some levels of praise for the bands rhythm section as well for bassist Ted Lundstrom helped to keep it steady while the drumming of Nico Mehra at times made you feel how he was keeping up such a pace. There are points where it seems as though he is running in place as the double kicks roll at break neck speeds. As a fan of drumming in the first place I was very satisfied with the stuff happening here.
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Amon Amarth “Twilight Of The Thunder God” CD Listening Media Event (7/31/2008)

Logo - Amon Amarth

Artist: Amon Amarth
Venue: Lit Lounge (New York, NY)
Event: “Twilight Of The Thunder God” CD Listening Event (Media Only)
Date: 7/31/2008
Label: Metal Blade Records

The event came as quite the surprise to me thanks to some email snafu but in the end the message reached me and the warning about the invading Viking hordes of Amon Amarth paying a visit to New York City was able to be prepared for. The Metal Faithful in NYC always love when the group comes to play shows here but tonight this would not be the case and instead I was able to be a part of a secret media cabal that was to convene together for the chance to join the band as they played their upcoming album “Twilight Of The Thunder God”. With haste I made my way to The Lit Lounge which is not too far from the original location of the long closed Fillmore East. The club or bar is set at two levels with the main floor space as a decent sized bar and the basement as a rather congested concert area space. I had only been there once before in 2007 to see both Unexpect and Virgin Black perform and while I loved the bands who were gigging I didn’t like the setting of the venue that particular night. Tonight the gathering would be in the main space and while the party had already started upon my arrival the music had not yet begun to spin. Towards the back I wandered where I saw the esteemed Metal Blade Publicity peeps and the hulking presence of Mr. Johan Hegg, lead singer of the band. If you don’t know what I mean, well, he is a super tall dude to the conventional New Yorker and his appetite for Metal is just as large as he is so it’s always best to approach with candor or at least a full pint of ale for him. He already had a full pint so I smiled and addressed him with a hearty “Hails Johan”, and since the background music was some odd Country and Western tune I decided to break the ice by complimenting the band on the bold new step and direction that they were taking with the album as it was clear to win over all those Redneck Southern Vikings who have been dying to have a Bluegrass twist to their Death Metal.
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