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Amon Amarth
With Oden On Our Side
Type: CD
Company: Metal Blade
Release: 2006
Genre: Death
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 10/13/2006
A fistful of mead and a thirst for battle
Amon Amarth has always been a band that I have watched closely, only to see if the group can eventually turn the corner and become something great and monumental. I remember hearing their first EP back in '96 and noting that someday the band could put it all together. Unlike other notable Swedish acts like Hypocrisy, Edge Of Sanity, Unleashed, and Dismember, Amon Amarth have never really put out that ONE fantastic record. The band has personally been a challenge for me because I can hear the talent and fully grasp their signature Viking style of songwriting and craft....but they just never could put it together in one truly memorable package. Sure albums like "The Avenger" and "The Crusher" had some good songs, but overall it just seemed like a one dimensional venture. In 2004 the band put out what I like to consider a "bridge effort" with "Fate Of Norns", the album that seemed to be a track record from one point to another. With high hopes I unwrapped new effort "With Oden On Our Side". YES....it has all come together now!

Amon Amarth experienced their biggest success to date with "Fate Of Norns". Now the band have capitalized on that high mark with their best album to date. This one has it all, from wind swept melodic passages to those chugging, mammoth beasts of ground and pound. Huge bombastic grooves rage through "Valhall Awaits Me" and "Gods Of War Arise", while other cuts like "Under The Northern Star" are more epic in nature with plenty of harmony fills and melodic overtones. The band's ice cold songwriting is based on Viking mythology, with these carefully constructed stories creating visions of frosty battlefields with axes and swords drenched in villager blood. See lyrics like "I drop the shield and grab my axe, A weapon in each fist". By album's end I wanted to grab a Robert Jordan novel and thrust my mind into some sword and sorcery fantasty.

Along with the fantastic song choices is the group's best production job thus far, this one newly controlled by Jens Bogren (Opeth, Katatonia, Soilwork) and recorded at Fascination Studios. The drums are all over the place from quick patterns and fast double bass to manic groove blasts that accomodates guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg. Vocalist Johan Hegg once again uses his deep register as well as the higher pitched black metal wail to fully outline chorus/verse passages. Bogren's duty fully enables all of this to take place on one solid soundscape that is both atmospheric while building blocks of metallic headbanging action.

Bottom Line - With a fistful of mead and a thirst for battle, these Swedish death bringers have finally mastered their domain. This is my pick for death metal album of the year! Up the horns and up the volume!
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: AMON AMARTH
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Deceiver of the GodsAmon Amarth
2013
Greg Watson7/19/2013
JomsvikingAmon Amarth
2016
Greg Watson4/16/2016
Twilight of the Thunder GodAmon Amarth
2008
Raising Iron3/6/2009
With Oden On Our SideAmon Amarth
2006
Eric Compton10/13/2006


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: AMON AMARTH

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