Sound: "It's been a long time, but we are here again / It's been five long years of thunder, lightning and rain"
These opening lyrics by Johan Edlund are very fitting for Tiamat: not only has Tiamat not released a new album in five years, but they switched labels from Century Media to Nuclear Blast. With such a long wait between album releases, Tiamat certainly had their work cut out for them in both pleasing old fans and gaining new ones. Trying to put a label on the band Tiamat is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall: Amanethes is typical of the band's typical diversity. From the aggressive sounds of Equinox of the Gods, the Beatles-influenced Summertime is Gone, to the slow a, and even with the country sounding Meliae, the execution is absolutely flawless. There are no fillers to be found here: this is one of the few albums that I have heard where each song is very powerful.
Production is top notch: longtime sound engineer a does a fantastic job at making the music sound as clear as a live performance. It sounds aggressive when it needs to, soft and soothing at the right moment, and possesses plenty of dynamics to keep things interesting. // 10
Lyrics: One of the first things that I noticed about this album is that Johan Edlund sounds very, very different. His vocal range has gone from being somewhat monotone and flat to being much deeper and attention-grabbing. Be it feelings of anger, love or sadness, his vocals convey the emotion perfectly. Truly, I feel that his vocals on this album are the best of his career.
The lyrics are well written and fit very well with the songs. From Johan's guttural vocals on Equinox of the Gods, where he describes a violent overthrow of Christianity by Satanists, (Set the altar on fire, See the embers go higher, See the burning oils glowing, Sacrificial blood's flowing) to the feelings of deep longing he expresses in Summertime is Gone, he gets the exact emotion that goes with the song. // 10
Overall Impression: If there was one album that could be used to describe where Tiamat has been, where they are now, and where they will head in the future, Amanethes would be it. ahas managed to retain the melodic blending of keyboard and guitar that turn good songs into great ones while creating some very catchy melodies that you will find yourself humming throughout the day. Truly, the music is as unique as the band, with every song on this musical journey being an incredible experience.
If you are not already a fan of the band Tiamat, this album will turn you into one. Few bands can produce a masterpiece of this quality. This is one album that no music lover should go without. // 10