Amon Amarth

With Oden on Our Side Amon Amarth - With Oden On Our Side (Metal Blade Records) 2006

1.    Valhall Awaits Me    (4:43)
2.    Runes to My Memory   (4:32)
3.    Asator    (3:04)
4.    Hermod's Ride to Hel - Lokes Treachery, Part 1    (4:40)
5.    Gods of War Arise    (6:02)
6.    With Oden on Our Side    (4:34)
7.    Cry of the Black Birds    (3:49)
8.    Under the Northern Star    (4:17)
9.    Prediction of Warfare    (6:36)

Amon Amarth are one of those buzz bands in the underground. Suddenly everyone is a fan of this band. Frankly, though I knew of them I hadn’t given their music a listen until I acquired this CD. Amon Amarth are generally labeled death metal, and while that may be true, I don’t hear comparisons to Canibal Corpse or Six Feet Under. Rather, Amon Amarth are a melodic heavy metal band with some power metal tendencies that just happens to have a growling death metal singer. The opening track “Valhall Awaits Me” pretty much sums up the sound of the album. There are no sidetracks into orchestration, nor are there any psuedo-goth female vocals to make the band sound hip and trendy. Some would probably even label “With Oden...” melodic death metal. To me that brings up core/trendy bands like In Flames and Children of Bodom. No, that is not the case here either. Rather, this is just full throttle, peddle to the metal heavy metal with gutterish vocals and Nordic lyrical themes. The album has the fast double bass assaults, vicious guitar licks, crunchy riffs, pounding bass and ‘aaaaaaaargh’ death metal vocals. The band even manages some catchy hooks and choruses. Surprisingly, the production is pretty clean, yet not so clean that the heaviness is stripped out of the album. Though I have grown bored with death metal over the years, I actually found “With Oden On Our Side” to be a good listen. This album will appeal to more than just the death metal hordes and for a change, I can see and hear what the buzz is about.

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