Sound — 8
The band's sound has evolved with the release of 'With Oden On Our Side'. The group have this time arounded added more intricate solos than were found on their previous releases and are moving in a melodic direction. For all fans of their old sound there's still plenty of that in the album to be found. 01. Valhall Awaits Me - the song begins with a riff reminiscent of Painkiller on crack. A well rounded song with plenty of melody and guts. Typical of Amon Amarth lyrics the song should be taken completely literally with no metaphor attempted. 02. Runes To My Memory - a typical metal track involving repetitive tremolo picking and chugging riffs not a bad listen all and all, but not the albums's best piece. 03. Asator - here you'll find the old school Amon Amarth sound with lightning fast drums and speedy guitar riffs. Leading into a typical heaving breakdown definitely a fun track to hear. Here you'll find that their scale playing has paid off a neat tidy melodic not too flashy solo. 04. Hermod's Ride To Hel - Loki's Treachery - a slower paced track with pounding drums in the background. The song focuses on Norse Mythology so take a look into it for a hope of understanding the material in the song. 05. Gods Of War Arise - another old school sounding track similar to things you'd find on 'Once Sent Through The Golden Hall'. Make sure any bible-thumping parents don't understand the lyrics here as the vocal catch 'Sacrifice to gods of old' might not sit too well with them. Typical guitar work catchy but a little redundant after a while 06. With Oden On Our Side - overall one of my preferred tracks more feeling than the rest of the album in my opinion. And great epic guitar working with the atmosphere of the lyrics. You can find a lot of their old sound on this track if you're into it. 07. Cry Of The Black Birds - the song begins with a slower more melodious riff a great track as it develops. The song picks up with the speedy drummy into a more fast paced track into an epic battle scene. 08. Under The Northern Star - perhaps my least liked track, but not bad overall. It feels to me like filler as there's not much variety in the guitar work. And the lyrics deal consistently with enjoyable viking material. The best part of the song definitely being the harmony towards the end. 09. Prediction Of Warfare - an awesome closer to an awesome while not the fastest perhaps the most thoroughly thought through track. Taking it's place as the longest track on the album at 6:38 the guitar work and lyrics manage to keep you on your toes and build excitement steadily. Ties the entire experience together with flair. Overall a great piece of viking metal worth the money you'll pay. With elements used by lots of contemporary artists you'll hear a lot of the usual tied together in a unique way. Worth whatever you pay for it.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are all based on very literal viking subjects of battle, pillaging and ravaging the lands. Accompanied with the occassional dosage of norse mythology, it makes a fun listen. The music and lyrics meld well in this album with no out of place riffs dealing with the subject matter. Johan Hegg's voice is developing from the unintelligible growls from before into a vicious bark but while being able to discern his words. Improvement from the old days of Amon Amarth.
Overall Impression — 9
A logical step forward from "Fate of Norns" the band seems to be maintaining their sound while keeping it moving in new directions, sure to make new fans and keep old ones. The songs that really stand out in this album to me are 'Valhall Awaits Me', 'Asator', 'With Oden On Our Side', and 'Prediction of Warfare'. I love that they are managing to keep the old sound while experimenting at the same time and are bound to find new fans and keep the old ones. I wouldn't buy this album again had I lost it because I already ripped the tracks onto my computer. But a worthwhile purchase.