Sound — 10
Amon Amarth are a heavy, charging-with-a-spear-on-horseback kind of death metal band. Arguably Black metal as well because of some anti-Christian lyrics and tremolo picking, however they consider themselves more death metal than anything. 'With Oden On Our Side' seems to revolve around the end of the Viking age when the Norse are forced out of their homeland and into North America. The rest are just classic Norse God inspired songs that are a lot faster than 'Fate of Norns' or 'Versus the World'. The pace reminds me a little of 'The Avenger' but with better sound quality. The melodies, as usual, are amazing. Anyways, 'Oden On Our Side' punches you in the face a lot harder than their previous album.
Lyrics — 8
The Lyrics are typical Medieval battle-themed descriptions of cutting down enemies, embracing death and fearing the all-powerful Norse Gods, etc. As I said, the lyrics seem to point towards the Viking migration across the ocean to other lands after their extinction in Europe. The adventurous melodies match the words and story well. Johan's range seems to have honed itself to perfection, however the production company may be the one to thank as well. I can't give too much credit to them because they've been writing about the same things since their first album, so in terms of originality they lose some point. They could have at least branched off to another aspect of Norse mythology instead of battles and Gods.
Overall Impression — 9
The songs that are most impressive are Valhall Awaits Me, Asator, Gods of War Arise, and Cry of the Blackbirds. Prediction of Warfare really gets on your nerves after a few listens because the riffage is too basic. Same goes for Runes to my Memory. Loki's Ride to Hel has the typical heavy punches common in Amon Amarth songs but the main melody that starts the song off isn't too great. Under the Northern Star is the slow song of the album and doesn't get you moving much, however it's still a great song and has a good melody. Valhall Awaits Me is basically the best Album launcher I've ever heard in my life: Fast, heavy, melodic, and a fantastic atmosphere that sets up the rest of the album perfectly. Asator probably stands out most even while being the shortest song of the album with Cry of the Blackbirds; something about it, and it's probably the repeated riff that starts every new part of the song, is just so fast and viking-like it makes the song more memorable than the others. If 'Oden On Our Side' were stolen from me I would do what happens to most Amon Amarth Victims. Die. Or maybe I'd just go and buy it again. Probably that.