To not enjoy Amon Amarth if you are a metal fan has to be akin to not enjoying oral sex if you are a human. I am willing to bet they are out there, but they really should keep to themselves, because they certainly must possess some enormous character flaw or disease or something. I mean, everything Amon Amarth does screams pure metal, no filler. They can do what most bands can’t: play a cheesy style of metal with the cheesy ideas and pull it off. Flawlessly. It’s because they don’t TRY to be Vikings. They just ARE. Which is to say that whatever they try to do sounds as though it is the only possible way they COULD do it.
So Fate of Norns is the same kind of success its predecessor was: a simple heavy metal record played as though it was the only thing that could take place. If you haven’t heard them before, they play mid to fast paced, simple dual guitar style metal with a singer who’s voice rattles like a man choking on blood. They use the twin guitar style to create epic dueling melodies coupled with thrashy rhythms. They sound very familiar, yet pretty individual at the same time. And they nail what they do so effortlessly and with such obvious enthusiasm that you have to assume they were born already trying to work out old Priest songs together. And every word of this paragraph is said with respect. They are organic and pure metal. For those of you with the memory span, they remind me of early 80’s Saxon in substance, if not entirely style.
The songs on this record follow the lead set on Versus the World. Epic battle songs and melancholy hymns to how unfair the world is to Vikings and how the Vikings are still gonna kick our asses for it all. And Like Versus the World, you could pick this apart if you really wanted to, but as I said above, that would speak more to your own mental problems than Amon Amarth’s music. This record just doesn’t have the kind of pretension that requires dissection. It’s not here to blow your mind. It’s here to make you drink mead and pine for the days when the biggest axe in the strongest hands decided how things would shake out. It’s here to make you proud to be Scandinavian, even if you are actually Scotch Irish.
So my recommendation is to pick this up. It’s not ultra new groundbreaking brutal technical metalcore, but it’s elegant and powerful and a god damned good time. And when I say God I mean Odin. See your sorry ass in Valhalla.