Sound — 10
Amon Amarth has a pretty incredible sound. They are concidered melodic death metal, and they fit that label very well. First and foremost the lead vocalist has very deep screams, they are quite amazing to listen too. Why? Why does his vocals stand out from many other death metal bands? Because they almost sound clean. It is pretty easy to comprehend what is being said through the screaming, yet his screaming still is enjoyable. The guitars backing him are pretty simple, yet give off a soothing atmosphere. It is interesting to see how well melodic playing goes with some bone-crushing grunts. It's quite enjoyable. Last, it's important for everyone to know that Amon Amarth is all about vikings. Check out some live videos and you'll see them wearing cufflings, and running amuck as if to pillage.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are fascinating, to say the least. They're enjoyable to blast and sing to in the car. They all tend to be about vikings and Norse mythology (Oden is a viking god). The lyrics tend to be violent (but not overly). Here is a stanza from "Valhall Awaits Me": "I rip the axe from the head/Covered in blood and brains/Leave the body lying dead/Ready to strike again." It doesn't get much worse than that (and personally it doesn't bother me). However, it is important people see this violence and are able to relate it to the viking stories they tell in their songs. If you can get past that, the lyrics are great.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is awesome. It's unique in comparison to so much bland death metal. Musically they are not the most complex, but they get the job done. Sometimes simplicity is best. In Amon Amarth's case, this is the truth. Standout songs: Cry of the Blackbirds, Valhall Awaits Me, Under the Northern Star, Gods of War Arise.