on 9 February 2012
You got it to give it to Amon amarth, whilst they might not be operating in the most original of concepts (see Unleashed) who first began as swedish playing viking heroes back in the early nineties. "Viking metal" as it could be abruptly termed has seen numerous other bands hop onto the scene to almost create a little niche market of it's own; though to these ears Amon amarth are a band firmly rooted in the tuneful and upbeat realms of melodic death metal, and this formula in combination with the darker helm of Viking themed and inspired death, indeed works pretty well as this album evidently shows. I am surprised I have not heard that much raving about this one before now as this is an excellent album.
Harking back to the decent days of the Gothenburg brilliance of In flames with the occasional trademark leads Amon amarth occasionally gives us some tasteful and genuine similarity between the styles of that band and of other great bands of the genre without any excessive borrowing or idea lending, and that is pretty much all there is to it on that note. So on towards a musical standpoint "Versus the world" gets straight off to a great start with a good kick in face from "Death in fire" which is just as stomping as it sounds. Later on, we have "Where silent gods stand guard" which is a doomy clatterer and gets thick and heavy with a slow protruding base line; elsewhere, apart from the stunningly average title track, "Across the rainbow bridge" is a surprisingly mellow and guitar light affair but one that is most welcome none-the-less as it is executed well. "Bloodshed" and the concluder "And soon the world will cease to be" is just what I would want from a melodic death metal band and delivers the required goods in style.
Musically the album delivers in spades to everything a fan would want from the band, whilst I am sure a few of the band's own hardcore fans out there might raise an eyebrow or two at the thought of me labeling this outing as their finest hour. Amon Amarth are indeed without doubt an amazingly consistent band and this is another consistent album to add to that list as I can find very little in the way to fault with this effort. As well as ample tempo and decent enough shift with some great barking vocals from the leadsman (as one would expect from a viking!) there is a good balance here also between the leads and riffs to keep the whole thing nice and interesting. "Versus the world" seemingly achieves a great standard across the metal board and for that alone it gets the full whack of 5/5.