Artist: Amon Amarth 
   Title: Surtur Rising
   Label: Metal Blade Records

This is the ninth album for this five piece from Sweden who refuse to identify themselves as Viking metal.  Working together for nearly two decades, the Tolkien inspired name has come to mean quality in the epic death metal genre that they seem to play in.

Their epic timbre echoes throughout, as the deep gravelly and sometimes growly vocals take their place amongst the speedy skilled guitar work that works with the fast hard drum work to create a backdrop rivalled by any other band.  The Norse mythology referencing is steady throughout, matched perfectly by the deep gravelly voice intoned by John, a godlike creature who stands tall and creates heavily threaded lyrics that can be unintelligible, but usually can be understood even amongst the musical base that they are entrenched in.

The musicians here manage to create a subsuming force that overwhelms everything with its epicness, and sets itself above, below and around the lyrics, creating a musical force that is hard to beat.  The skill here is obvious, with each linking to and weaving with the other, creating a musical backdrop rivalled by many others.  Yet it does not feel complete without the bassy, boomy vocals set in the centre of them.  These guys are the masters of symphonic/mythological black metal, and they take their place with pride.

Review by: Kerry H


1. Wars Of The Gods
2. Tock's Taunt - Loke's Treachery Part II
3. Destroyer Of The Universe
4. Slaves Of Fear
5. Live Without Regrets
6. The Last Stand Of Frej
7. For Victory Or Death
8. Wrath Of The Norsemen
9. A Beast Am I
10. Doom Over Dead Man



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