Originally written by Ty Brookman
Amon Amarth return and with them their finest work to date. Versus the World quickly proves that 10 years of perseverance and allegiance can and will solidify precision. With surmounting frustration and the loss of their 6 year run with Abyss studios Amon Amarth entered Berno studios fully under the impression that this would be their last album. With a grim outlook in tact what transpired from a musical standpoint is undeniably Millennium and ultimately commanding. Make no mistake Versus the World is a combination of all that is Amon Amarth but this time round their sound is fully matured with refined execution. Whereas Amon Amarth’s 2001 release, The Crusher was dubbed solid and without a doubt fully aggressive at times it seemed rather hit and miss with the flow interrupted with forced harmonies which detracted from the overall intensity. Such is not the case within Versus the World, with riffs of valor and undeniable infection leading the way throughout, Versus the World is an album you listen to from beginning to end and then do it all over again. From a production point of view Berno Studios delivered the goods and quickly proved that Peter Tagtgren’s Abyss studio will be missed but was definitely not the only studio on the block. With kick drums that roar with wreckage Fredrik Andersson drives the beast that is Versus the World with a cruel performance that combines power with exactness that will not soon be forgotten. Blending their patented Swedish belligerence with mighty melodies Amon Amarth blasts the heavy yet somewhere in between reveals an ardor of intelligence within their overall writing ability. Melodious yet heavy in implementation Versus the World is exactly that, the ultimate battle of honor and glory leaving all who cower in fear quickly behind. Vocally speaking Johan Hegg commands your respect from the get go, a midrange growl of doom Hegg emulates fierce power combined with strife combined with if you fuck with me I will make you pay. Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg are keyed right in with riffs of spirit that burn the impression of contention with the order of business focused on piercing delusion. Following up the backbone Ted Lundström’s bassist ability fits the bill but from an overall view stands out much like a needle in a haystack. Bottom Line: Versus the World reveals Amon Amarth for what they truly are a force of intensity but at the same time a band that knows how to work the hook within the bounds of scrutiny and in the end deliver an album that works and works well. An album that grows on you within every listen Versus the World is guaranteed to make you nod your head in approval and raise the horns up high for a breathtaking drink of pure Swedish Death Metal.