The Vikings have been on the charge for over 25 years now and now have the follow up to 2015’s Jomsviking ready to continue their assault in the form of The Berserker.
Formed way back in 1992, Amon Amarth have been ruthlessly assaulting the world of Metal as their journey to domination with their unique Viking storytelling, to the sounds of hammering drums, gritty riffs and souring solos, matched with the gravelly vocal.
Moving away from the concept album format of Jomsviking have in their own words “allowed themselves the space to explore other parts of musicality and who the band are” and if this is who Amon Amarth now are, the world is in for a seismic shock as the new version of the band have truly arrived.
Opening with ‘Fafner’s Gold’ the riffs soon kick in and the high pace kicks in, immediately perfect for opening a live performance, as the chunky riffs continue to provide the musicality as the drums behind are ferocious and the story line tells us this particular tale of Viking folklore. Immediately you feel ready to do battle with the Vikings and you grab your ancestry to see what Viking you have in you. Then we are thrust into ‘Crack The Sky’ where we need the assistance of Thor’s hammer to provide the lightening to crack the sky. This may sound a less aggressive song as the melody runs through the back ground, however the riffs are huge and you are soon shouting along with the request for Thor to help out.
By the time ‘Shield Wall’ arrives, if you have not donned your leather gauntlets yet, trust me you need them there as this is set up perfectly for crown interaction, I expect at some point a Shield Wall to arrive in a pit, much the same as the seated rowing that begun at Bloodstock Festival. The riff is ridiculous as the we fight till death whilst thrust on to the front line.
‘Ravens Flight’ was the first released track from the album and really got everyone very excited as the brutality and aggression really came to the fore musically this really is an unforgiving assault, with each instrument being used to its massive potential and the vocal being as powerful and commanding as ever.
‘The Berserker At Stamford Bridge’ is a slower track, almost providing a doom feeling, allowing for the full glory of the tale, which is around when the Vikings had to retreat from around 15000 men and one man armed with a Dane Axe stood on the bridge to protect his brothers. He killed between 40 and 70 Englishmen who resorted to sending a raft along the river and killing The Beserker from behind.
The album closes with ‘Into The Dark’ with a grim underbelly and souring melody along with blood laden hooks that make you ensure that the repeat button is pressed to experience this incredible album over and over again.
The Beserker is flawless and has been on constant repeat since I got my hands on it, it sounds huge and will please long term fans whilst also providing the sound track for future hordes to join the Viking movement and wonder what they have been missing for so long. The album gets better with each listen and I cannot wait to hear some of it live in the summer.
The Beserker is released On May 3rd via Metal Blade
- Fafner’s Gold
2. Crack the Sky
3. Mjölner, Hammer of Thor
4. Shield Wall
6. Raven’s Flight
8. The Berserker at Stamford Bridge
9. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll and Hati
11. Wings of Eagles
12. Into the Dark