Our favorite Vikings are back with a new vessel of metal so fucking good I can’t stop listening to it! Amon Amarth have released Jomsviking, their first concept album; they named their new drummer, Jocke Wallgren; and they are set for an upcoming North American tour with Entombed A.D. and Exmortus.
Jomsviking really does harness everything Amon Amarth are about. It’s ferocious, yet it retains their trademark melodies. The raw riffs, wicked double-bass drumming, gang choruses, and Johan Hegg’s growl are all there, too, showcasing that they are at the top of their game right now. While they aren’t breaking their own mold, they prove that their own trademark sound can remain fresh from album to album.
“First Kill” opens up with a strong dose of melody with a spoken word passage, then it blasts into a storm of riffs and double bass punches. Vocalist Hegg lays it all out on the line right away, and his songwriting on this tale, based around Viking mercenaries, is stellar. “Wanderer” slows it down, but it turns up the rolling bass. It breaks into a swirl of riffs and growling vocals right before a moody guitar breakdown. “On a Sea Of Blood” picks it back up in traditional Amon Amarth form. The bridge and chorus are brutal and memorable. “One Against All” also maintains a familiar feel. In true Viking fashion, you feel pummeled after this one. It’s fast with a huge chorus. “Raise Your Horns” is one of my favorites, bringing to the front the strong songwriting skills Amon Amarth have. From the opening riff to the party style chorus, this is what they are all about. “The Way Of The Vikings” has a more epic feel, opening with a strong classical piece, then building to a massive chorus. “A Dream That Cannot Be” is another favorite, and it features Doro Pesch on guest vocals. She adds another element of melody to a killer song. “Back On Northern Shores” is cold and dark. It starts slow and brooding but includes a furious chorus. It is epic and takes the album out on a huge note.
Amon Amarth have created a genre of their own, and on Jomsviking, they prove once again that they have the ability to be the lone warriors at the top of the mountain of Viking metal!
Jomsviking is out now on Metal Blade Records. Buy it here!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):