Amon Amarth - The Avenger
Metal Blade
Viking Metal
7 songs (36:12)
Release year: 1999
Amon Amarth, Metal Blade
Reviewed by Thomas
Archive review

After hearing all the praise this band has gotten over the last years, I finally got around to buying some records. I rarely read a negative review regarding this band, and their latest effort, Twilight of the Thunder God recieved lots of positive responses from every metal corner of the world, including this site. Therefore, I thought I'd start with their earlier releases which established their rather successful career. This is Amon Amarth's second full-length, following the widely accepted Once Sent From the Golden Hall.

The thing that separates Amon Amarth from other melodic death metal bands, is their ability to make highly melodic songs, without losing the aggressivity or sounding like the whining girl In Flames turned into. The music is for the most part mid-paced, never bursting out into top speed technical death metal. It's not hard to keep track of the music, and the album flows smoothly. There are no clean vocals or core-ish breakdowns here. Just crushing, headbangable, thunderous yet melodic riffs, over blast-beats backing up the hoarse growls and shrieks by Johan Hegg. Bleed For the Ancient Gods and God, His Son and Holy Whore are perfectly good examplpes on combining both brutality and melody. However, Amon Amarth's strength is also their weakness. It is no secret that this band is pretty limited when it comes to creativity. The album keeps rolling at the same speed, with no obvious changes or variety. After the first couple of songs, this slips down a few steps from very good, to nothing in particular, and to downright boring. Nothing really catches my attention, or grabs me as outstanding. There are of course a few very good tracks here like the epic title-track and The Legend of a Banished Man. On the other hand, this album contains some skip-button material like Metal Wrath

When I read the lyrics for this album, I got the feeling that they're trying to become the Manowar of Death Metal. I expected lyrics deeply rooted within the norse mythology such as historical events or stories based around some of the epic sagas. Instead I got amusing and cheesy lyrics about slaughtering of christians, beer-drinking and sharpening of swords and axes. At first I found the lyrics downright laughable and stupid, but I really don't mind them now and every now and then I'll chant along while reading the booklet.

I guess the bottom line is that this is some rollercoaster. The Avenger varies from completely average to very good and everything in between. Not a must-have for first timers like myself, allthough I enjoyed listening to it. However, it gave me the idea of what Amon Amarth sounds like, and I will definitely give their later releases a shot.

Killing Songs :
Bleed For Ancient Gods, God, His Son and Holy Whore, The Avenger, Legend Of a Banished Man
Thomas quoted 77 / 100
Other albums by Amon Amarth that we have reviewed:
Amon Amarth - Jomsviking reviewed by Andy and quoted 84 / 100
Amon Amarth - Deceiver of the Gods reviewed by Jared and quoted 90 / 100
Amon Amarth - Surtur Rising reviewed by Kyle and quoted 82 / 100
Amon Amarth - Twilight Of The Thunder God reviewed by Storm and quoted 96 / 100
Amon Amarth - With Oden On Our Side reviewed by Kayla and quoted 95 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
4 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 6 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:50 am
View and Post comments