Amon Amarth – ‘Berserker’ album review

Band: Amon Amarth
Album: Berserker
Release Date: 3rd May, 2019
Label: Metal Blade Records

 

 

Review by Sean

I’ll be honest here and say that while I liked the last couple of Amon albums, they just weren’t ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’, so they weren’t as good as they could have been.
I was ready to go ahead and say the same here after my first listen of ‘Berserker’, but I gave it a second listen, and something was different. Maybe it was my mood, maybe I just heard something I
hadn’t first time round, but I’m so glad I gave it a second chance.

With opener ‘Fafner’s Gold’, with it’s stringed intro that turns suddenly heavy, you know you’re onto something special here. It’s the lead single as well, so go give it a listen while you check out this review, it’s well worth it.

‘Crack the Sky’ is my favourite on the album, and if you listen, it’ll be obvious why. If you aren’t growling that chorus along with Johan, there’s something very wrong with you. Can’t growl? Do it anyway, Thor will protect you.
Indeed a fair few tracks on this album deal with the God of Thunder, but I’ll focus on some others instead here.

Special shout out to ‘Valkyria’, starting oddly with a studio instruction before giving us some truly heavy riffage, chased by the mighty voice of Mr. Hegg. The outro here is a bit odd to me, because I could swear I recognise that piano melody from some where else (No, not the guitar riff in the song, geniuses). Ah, well. It’s still great.

I’ll highlight two more here, firstly the excellent ‘Ironside’. It’s another one of those classic Amon Amarth tracks with a simple chorus that’ll you’ll bellow out when you see them live. Or even just at home. Or in the streets, at a ministry group.

And the last track I’ll talk about is as close as we’ll get to a title track, ‘The Berserker at Stamford Bridge’. Who said death metal couldn’t be educational? I love this one, even if the Vikings lost this
particular battle, I love the imagery of a Goliath of a Northern man, drenched in blood, cloaked in the pelt of a bear, giant axes in each hand, cleaving his way through hundreds of Englishmen before
being brought down. Brings a smile to my face.

So yeah, I’m glad I gave the album more than one chance, because it instantly grew on me. This, to me, is on par with ‘Twilight…’, and absolutely the best they’ve done for a while. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an axe to grind, then Englishmen to find

 

9 out of 10

 

 

Track Listing:
01. Fafner’s Gold
02. Crack the Sky
03. Mjölner, Hammer of Thor
04. Shield Wall
05. Valkyria
06. Raven’s Flight
07. Ironside
08. The Berserker at Stamford Bridge
09. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll and Hati
11. Wings of Eagles
12. Into the Dark