Hail Metal Brethern! The Lords of Viking Metal have returned. And in Thors name, it is good.
Of course, strip away the image and the artwork, and Amon Amarth are really just punting out some top quality death metal. But add in all the other bits and bobs, and the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. This latest album also sees guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg raising their game to new highs, something that pushes the album on to another level.
The album really hangs together as a proper collection, rather than as a good EP, padded out with pap, as too many death metal bands think they can get away with, and on numbers like the title track, 'Free Will Sacrifice' and 'Live for the Kill', the latter augmented by those for sure crazy Apocalyptica guys and the title track featuring Children Of Bodom dude, Roope Latvala. Vocalist Johan Hegg has also been gargling with sandpaper, as he takes his growl to a new level of bowel inducing fervour.
Over the last ten years, Amon Amarth have been steadily improving, growing from album to album, to reach the new peak on "Twilight Of The Thunder God ". It's hard to believe they're the same band who put out "Once Sent From The Golden Hall", such is the improvement shown. If you yearn for top quality death metal and tales of Viking derring do, then you're not going to find anything better.