Amon Amarth Surtur Rising

Amon Amarth Surtur Rising
The more things stay the same, the more we can truly appreciate just how fun predictability is. Album number eight finds surly, Viking-fixated Swedish fiends Amon Amarth so into their formula of melody-tinged death metal fuelled by sagas culled from their Norse legacy that they almost fail to realize just how closely they're mining territory they've already pillaged. From the plodding pace and rapid-fire riffing wailing away beneath crisp, yet guttural, vocals and the general overproduced sound quality that yields borderline tinny guitars and double-wood blocks instead of double-kick drums, aspects of Surtur Rising could easily be interchanged with many of its predecessors. Still, such a manoeuvre is entirely appreciable when the actual craftsmanship, dynamic flow and inspired delivery shine through. The perfect step after 2008's obvious, albeit sufficient, Twilight of the Thunder God, Surtur Rising isn't definitive melodic death metal so much as a perfectly executed page from the scene's charred textbook. However, it's still a solid outing. (Metal Blade)