Amon Amarth
Surtur Rising
Style: Melodic Death Metal
Release date: 28 March 2011
Playing time: 48:40

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 caliber.


01. War of the Gods
Tock's Taunt
Destroyer of the Universe
Slaves of Fear
Live Without Regrets
The Last Stand of Frej
For Victory or Death
Wrath of the Norsemen
A Beast Am I
Doom Over Dead Man

Label: Metal Blade
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 86/100
Reviewed by: The Rev
Date: 30 March 2011