Sound — 9
The first time I heard this album I knew immediately it was in drop-B standard. I thought the low end crunch fit the vocal style quite well the first time around. It still does. The tone on the guitars is remarkable and I appreciate the fact that the guitarists are very modest and don't just come forth and start shredding just to show off. There are only two leads in the whole album and I think that's pretty classy. The only thing I don't care for is the snare drum sound. It sounds a little too dry and not tight enough.
Lyrics — 10
Amon Amarth are the first band I've come across that integrate a story into each one of their songs that connects directly into the next one. This shows uniqueness in the band and keeps it from getting boring. Despite the visceral growl you can actually understand some of the lyrics when he sings. The best lyrics are in Arson and Beheading of a King. I like the format of the songs too because they are not written in just standard intro verse chorus verse chorus, that type of thing. They just flow and tell the story they were meant to.
Overall Impression — 9
I don't think I would Amon Amarth on top of my favorite melodic death metal bands list but they would definately be in my top five. The band is unique in many ways both musically and lyrically and I think those are two things to be desired in a lot of todays music. The band makes the songs very melodic on the instrumental parts and they don't make one particular sound the whole way through. They vary their keys quite a bit. The best songs are Pursuit Of Vikings, Beheading Of A King, and Arson.