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4.7 out of 5 stars17
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 April 2011
Now and again there comes a band which has been around for quite a few years, barely unheard of until one album (previous offering, Twilight of the Thunder God) gets the metal media's attention, and that bands popularity increases tenfold. Some call this 'selling out', I call it 'matching the money to the music'.
Amon Amarth are such a band, but this band, like Motorhead, haven't changed their style or sound (see Children of Bodom).

Amon Amarth have stuck to their roots of heavy mid-paced metal, lyrics telling stories of Viking battles, Norse mythology, Gods, victories and legends.
So if you're already a fan of Amon Amarth and have enjoyed their previous albums then you'll know what to expect without any letdowns, I assure you.
For those of you who are new listeners to Amon Amarth you can expect 3 - 6 minute-long heavy songs containing melodic guitar parts, lots of double bass drumming, deep gutteral vocals and catchy choruses. If you like one Amon Amarth album, then you're sure to like them all. A unique band with a unique style, a great back-catalogue of albums, with Surtur Rising being very welcomed into sitting amongst the best of them.
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Amon Amarth have been on an upward trend over the last few studio albums, rising from relative unkowns to cult heroes to a genuine big deal, especially with the previous two albums which launched the band into the wider public consciousness and resultantly lead this album to be one of metal's most anticipated albums in years.

The band do not disappoint and deliver more of their trademark Norse themed, twin guitar melodic death metal from the beginning of the album to the end. The songs are as catchy yet savage as ever, the musicianship is phenomenal (especially guitar solos) and the production job is top notch making the album sound absolutely fantastic on all levels.

Whether you enjoy the album or not will depend largely on whether you have had enough of the Amon Amarth formula, this album presents no large shift in musical direction and no abandoning of the lyrical or vocal styles associated with the band up until this point and what you get is essentially another Amon Amarth record along the same lines as the previous two, with all the technical and songwriting progress the band had made until that point.

Should you have tired of this forumla then by all means, feel free to give Surtur Rising a miss, but if you haven't then this album is something you will want to be getting in on as soon as possible.

Opener 'War Of The Gods,' and the fast and dramatic 'A Beast Am I' are easily among the best songs the band have released in recent years, and the album draws to a close with the grand and melodic 'Doom Over Dead Men,' which distills perfectly everything Amon Amarth have come to represent.

In summary if you want a flawless sounding, perfectly executed Amon Amarth record, with great songs, great musicianship and the trademark Amon Amarth sound then Surtur Rising will not disappoint.
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on 28 March 2011
Well...any album that has "War of the Gods" as an opener is simply destined to be a masterpiece! From now on, I can imagine their concerts opening with this new instant classic! From the very first second the beast is unleashed: a great riff leads to a thundering double-bass attack and an in-your face approach. The bridge of the song is followed by an amazing epic melody and refrain; and if this is not enough, you also get a great middle part with more great riffs until the final solo (which is just spot on)! Sheer brilliance! Memorable, compact, and very effective! Amon Amarth just shouts we are still here, strong as ever, inspired and inspiring and we deliver the goods! "Töck's Taunt - Loke's Treachery Part II" that follows is a heavy and more mid-tempo song with a melancholic atmosphere. "Destroyer of the Universe" is a track which justifies its title. Fast, heavy, and aggressive (again there is great riffing throughout). "Slaves of Fear" is another great song with a very good riff and overall progression (nice melodies, refrain, solo etc.). The same goes for "Live without Regrets".

These guys have really perfected their composition skills. They have found their own formula and stick to it. Without repeating themselves, they always come up with 2-3 amazing riffs, an epic and brilliant melody, put them together and end up with a perfect song each time! I will not mention every member individually because each one is the unique element which comprises a perfect team. Technical, effective and massively talented!

"The Last Stand of Frej" starts at a slow pace and with a very nice melody which you can sing along. It includes an `Amon Amarth meets Sabbath' part, it has a very melodic solo and it ends with a great riff and guitar work. "For Victory or Death" is another favourite of mine. This song will be great in a live atmosphere! The memorable melody at the start is soon followed by a thundering attack: an amazing riff, a double bass fast-paced blast, great drumming and again a nice chorus. You just want to sing along loud and bang your head to this song! Did I mention the solo which is a perfect fit? "Wrath of the Norsemen" is a more mid-tempo song which is really heavy (Amon Amarth meets Sabbath and Metallica)! Of course the sheer epicness is again present and accompanied by some straight heavy metal solos.

"A Beast am I" is a monstrous song indeed. This is one of the fastest and most furious songs Amon Amarth has ever written. A war-like fast-drum beat, together with great and aggressive riffing, unleash the beast one more time! I am sure this one will create chaos in their concerts! I guess this is why the last part of the song is in essence an acoustic interlude with really nice melodic guitars on top: to restore order and balance if things got out of control! The last song "Doom over Dead Man" starts off in a much slower and melodic way. The surprise of this song is the inclusion of strings which accompany the band in an experiment which I think works beautifully. As the song builds up you get a really good guitar work and all the elements you would expect from Amon Amarth.

I cannot say if this album is better than the previous two masterpieces from the band (it is early for that although I have listened to it tens of times already) but it is certainly at the same level and definitely one of the most prominent candidates for the metal album of 2011! These Vikings are hard working, inspired, and consistent and they deserve every success they can get! The main question is how they will continue at this level from now on...

Finally, as always is the case with Amon Amarth releases, you can find various editions for the album. I would suggest getting the nicely presented hard digi-book version which includes a bonus DVD. The DVD offers the live concerts of the first 4 albums which Amon Amarth played in 2008 (the 4 re-issues of these albums include the corresponding audio versions). If you go for the more expensive option, there is a box set with includes an action figure of Surtur, the aforementioned DVD and two bonus tracks: "Balls to the Wall" (Accept cover) and "War Machine" (Kiss cover). Only for i-tunes, there is a cover from System of a Down (Aerials).
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on 18 October 2011
Well, when you start thinking theres nothing good going on in death metal anymore just take a journey with Amon Amarth and allow these Norse metal warriors to pummel and pillage your very being. A bit slow on the uptake, to my shame, Ive been seeing these guys shirts more and more at the festivals this year so the time came to get involved.

Incredible!! Not since the mighty Death or sometimes Carcass have I been so blown away by ferocious riffs and drums yet hypnotised by the catchy melodies which worm their way inside and resurface at the most inopportune moments. Singing Destroyer Of The Universe, headphones on, unaware of work colleagues nearby was a very funny moment. They just dont get it hahaha.

Surtur Rising absolutely slays from the blistering first track to its triumphant end and has great lyrics, great musicianship and classy, tasty lead guitar work. Im off to buy up the back catalogue now.

I suggest you get involved. Immediately!!!
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on 11 October 2011
I think it's fair to say that at least Amon Amarth continue to put out quality records and are a band I can rely on to do just that.

Surtur Rising kind of follows on from the previous album in some respects from Twilight of the Thunder God, and that one followed on from some tracks on With Oden on Our Side. What I mean is that there is a thread followed according to the Norse myths that make up a good portion of their songs. Where the previous albums featured events running up to and including Ragnarok, this continues on with Ragnarok and the part Surtur plays, among others, in the destruction of the nine worlds. That should give you an idea of how epic some of the tracks are. I do like that they continued with part 2 of Loke's Treachery on this record, part 1 was on With Oden on Our Side and that there is a mythical thread joining albums together.

That aside there are more general Viking-themed tracks too like Victory or Death (A personal favourite), Slaves of Fear to name a couple of them. The Last Stand of Frej slows things down for the record to give a bit of relief from the overal tempo of the record but it is a bit heavy-hearted given that it deals with the inevitable battle Frej faces against Surtur, wielding nothing more than an antler after having given his sword to his servant Skirnir prior to Ragnarok, knowing that he will most likely perish and Surtur continue on with his destruction.

While a lot of naysayers may say that records with such vocals spout off about nothing, the band often has interesting lyrics that tell a tale, and believe it or not can have a clear positive message in them.If you aren't a fan of Amon Amarth I can't see this album convincing you otherwise, but for those into this music and band it is recommended.
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on 24 February 2014
Brilliant offering from the Swedish death metal band. I checked them out on You Tube and was so impressed I thought I'd give this disc a try: it was just a bonus there was a dvd of them in concert. We've all seen them before, bands serving up a crap live gig for their fans. I was totally blown away: both by the album itself and the live dvd featuring over twenty tracks. The sound and picture quality were excellent, as was the performance. I would liken this band to Trivium. though the lead singer's voice is more guttural, the music itself while heavy is still quite melodic.
Anyone wanting to take a chance on a band, you could do a hell of a lot worse: it's the first album of theirs I've bought, but will by no means be the last.
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on 28 February 2014
Amon Amarth succeed again. this album is total greatness. I have written in my will that I be cremated to the sound of death in fire. ITS THAT GOOD.
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on 20 February 2012
Just another great album from one of the best bands ever... This is why i love Amon Amarth, keeping their style but always giving fresh new CD's. It's possible not to love this record, starting with full power with this new epic War of the Gods, and continuing through the album with a lot of energy but with melody too. Excellent riffs, solos, vocals with a lot of power...All Hail Oden and his blessed band, Amon Amarth!
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on 25 October 2011
Well, what can be said about this masterpiece? Quite a lot, actually, but I don't have time for an essay, so basically... Every track is magnificent, with melodic interludes and crushingly heavy riffage, combined with the trademark death growled vocals from Johan Hegg. "Doom Over Dead Man" and "Destroyer Of The Universe" being stand out tracks for me. A sublime album from an exquisite band. Good show, fellas.
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on 1 November 2014
I've been a fan of Amon Amarth right from the off and I genuinely like all their works, but Surtur Rising is my favourite. So good and chocked full of great songs! Put this one in your collection pronto!
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