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Album Review: Amon Amarth – The Great Heathen Army

Artist: Amon Amarth
Title: The Great Heathen Army
Release Date: 5th August 2022
Label: Metal Blade
Reviewer: Mert Tyson

The Great Heathen Army Is another cataclysmic, melodic powerhouse of an album that truly concretes Amon Amarth status as one of the mighty contenders of Viking Melodic Black Metal over the last three decades.

This is the twelfth album from the band and hits like a sledgehammer from the quality production thanks to the master Andy Sneap (Priest, Accept, Megadeth) to the musical precision that is Amon Amarth. Just when you thought this band could not get any better, they have created another masterclass of metal that is set to remain another classic in their repertoire for years to come.

“Get in the Ring” smashed the doors open to this album with a punch and melody. Right from the start you really hear the quality of this production the music is sublime, the feel…. METAL! Johan Hegg really belts this out in his typical raw and aggressive way coupled by a strong backline of double kick and aggressive bass. Grinding riffs and majestic and melodic solos and interludes by Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Solderberg drive this killer opener!

The great Heathen Army is a masterpiece. Ferocious and merciless. Amon Amarth mix this one up a bit with changing riffs that are highlighted again by those brutal vocals and melodic interludes that resonate the senses. A masterclass or drumming by Jocke Wallgren

“Heidrum” would have to be my personal favorite off the album delivering a sweet riff throughout the song. The guitar playing exceptional as expected with enchanting melody throughout the song. The vocals are more mainline on this track echoing the legends of old school death and power metal with a powerful anthem chanting belted throughout.

‘Oden Own you All” Is faster and channels the stereotypical Death Metal genre that we are accustomed too. Furious and devastating. This song is savage message of the day do not fuck with Odin! This song resonates early Halloween for me simply glorious!

Find a way or make one is up next with another melodic grinder, this album is consistent. Andy Sneap and added a new element to this track again with pristine production. Another killer riff that would make metal legends envious. This song is real head banger and rocker with a killer grind from start to finish, Turn it up to eleven. Killer solo, killer vocals. Killer Bass! Killer Drums! Enough said!

‘Dawn of Norseman” should be at home with a background theme to something like lord of the rigs or game of thrones. You know that bit in slow motion when the two armies collide and there is a total blood and gore fest leaving the victors standing in a ritualistic battle pose! This one tells a story, and the music is magical and competing. A beautiful guitar interlude slows this one down before kicking it back into gear with a possessed Hegg belting out that ferocious battle cry! This song another highlights for me.

“Saxons & Vikings” Jocke Wallgren drives this song with more superb destruction behind the skins. And how fucking happy was I to hear the mighty Biff Byford (Saxon) stand side by side with Hegg. This makes for a stunning duo of vocal destruction. I’d love to see more of this, purely amazing this track is a masterpiece. Biff has not missed a beat this is a mix of pure joy! A great song bringing generations of metal together, superb.

“Skagul Rides with Me” Well what more can I say without repeating myself. Another monument to the pure genius of Amon Amarth that makes these guys hard to beat. All the elements of this song are pure genius there is space, melody coupled with symphonic beauty and destruction. This is truly an album that is fresh and exciting with a sting of songs that each is better than the last.

“The Serpent’s Trail” is the final monument to this beast of a record. A fitting tale filled with magical spoken work driven by incredible musical accompaniment. The melody, music and lyrics tell a truly amazing tale. Buy the album immerse yourself in the story, put on the headphones read the lyrics and hold your horns high one of the best metal albums you will hear this year Hail Amon Amarth!

Hear2Zen Magazine
Hear2Zen is a "Non Genre Specific" publication that celebrates all things sensory.

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