This review is from: Surtur Rising (Audio CD)
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.