Amon Amarth Twilight of the Thunder God

Amon Amarth are a finely tuned Viking metal machine and Twilight of the Thunder God reveals the band in all their simplistic glory. The album, their seventh, holds no surprises, no unanticipated changes in direction, no genre-bending experimentation, no concessions to mainstream accessibility and no attempts to wallow in obscure extremity. It’s melodic, it’s heavy and it’s Nordic death metal to the core. A few guest appearances (Entombed’s L.G. Petrov, Children of Bodom’s Roope Latvala, metal cellists Apocalyptica) accentuate Amon Amarth’s characteristic Swedish storm, and a half-minute cello interlude only serves to emphasize the band’s growling ferocity. Even the brief threat of symphonic orchestration fails to dilute the essential rampaging Amon Amarth spirit. Guitar leads peal out alongside a rhythm attack too carefully coordinated to pass for a berserker horde. Lyrically, you’ll find the expected English-language pillaging of Norse mythology thundered out as if by the deity of the record’s title. When it all comes together, Twilight of the Thunder God could almost bring on a heathen conversion experience or, if not that, at least affirm a headbanger’s faith in Amon Amarth. (Metal Blade)