It's hard to know what to
expect from Amon Amarth on an album to album basis. Versus the World and With
Oden on Our Side are legendary albums. Fates of Norns was a dud. Their other
albums rest somewhere in between. Still, the mid-tempo style persists and you
hope for flashes of brilliance.
Surtur Rising has some pretty sick solos on it, and the riffing stands out in
spots, but altogether it comes across as underwhelming for Amon Amarth
standards. Realistically, it's their own fault; they've set an extremely high
bar. "Live without Regrets" and "For Victory or Death" stand out as being the
most complete tracks. But then there are tracks like "A Beast Am I" that have
sections that drag on and don't hold your interest; said track also has a pretty
lackluster solo on it.
You can't peg the deficiencies really down to stylistic variations either as
there are up-tempo sections that are dull, in addition to some of the slower
stuff. There's more of a melodic feel to this one, but while a lot of the
melodies are good, nothing ever blows you away, like for instance the key melody
on "Under the Northern Star" off With Oden on Our Side.
I don't want to harp too much on the negative aspects though, which I'll sum up
as saying there are more than a few dull riffs and that the good ones don't
approach some of their previous work. This is still a good album and there are
some very good moments on it. If you like Amon Amarth, you'll like the album.
Some might even love it. I would put it in the middle of the pack if ranking
their whole discography, but that's still pretty high for a band of their