Amon Amarth - _With Oden on Our Side_
(Metal Blade, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (
Perhaps it's my own ignorance, but I can't help but find it a touch surprising given the quality of some of the titles they've released this year that Metal Blade (in Europe at least) would choose to flex their marketing muscles in support of Amon Amarth's sixth full-length more fervently than they have for several others. Maybe I just don't get it. In fact, if I'm honest, the Viking metal movement has been hit or miss with me, and certainly with such puerile yarns as "some seek shelter in the church / a refuge for those with faith / but we know how to smoke them out / a fire will be raised" dominating _With Oden on Our Side_, it's hard to shake comparisons to Manowar sans the Harley Davidsons. Musically the Swedes do fare better, and among the highlights "Hermod's Ride to Hel" displays a level of introspection and creative depth rarely heard amidst Amon Amarth's mostly melodic death metal. It's unfortunate however that for the majority of the time, the band rarely take us anywhere they (or many others for that matter) haven't gone before, and while this is bound to delight their growing legion of fans, I'll reserve holding my broadsword aloft for the next Turisas album.
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