Amon Amarth - _The Crusher_
(Metal Blade, 2001)
by: David Rocher (8 out of 10)
Sweden's death metal Vikings are back with another sacrificial offering in blood of melodic, epic death metal. Throughout the 50 minutes of this pagan powerhouse of an album, Amon Amarth once again prove that they are undeniable past masters at writing a compelling, angry and warlike anthem that will linger in your mind forever. With their hampering line-up issues hopefully solved once and for all, Amon Amarth are able to work as a powerful, channeled force to conjure some fine death metal hymns. And believe me, the strength and determination of their line-up is easily heard, with each musician in the band adding a personal, noticeable touch to the music. This is in particular true when compared with _The Avenger_ [CoC #xx], for ex-A Canorous Quintet skinsman, Fredrik Andersson, whose drumwork is far more intricate and enticing than before. Successfully combining power and melody, intensity and atmosphere, and graced with a cool, albeit rather squeaky-clean production, _The Crusher_ is the logical sequel to _Once Sent From the Golden Hall_ [CoC #xx], more than it is to the somewhat different elements that _The Avenger_ embodies in these rather prolific Vikings' discography. I would only begrudge that this release's sound is just a little too conventional (Abyss trademark production) and clean for its own good -- maybe more bands should consider turning to Andy Sneap or Danne Bergstrand for a fitting, chunkier, roaring production. Nonetheless, _The Crusher_ is a fine, recommendable standing stone of heavy, raging death metal indeed, guaranteed to have you air-guitaring and -drumming away before you even know it!

[Pedro Azevedo: "_The Crusher_ contains all the elements and quality you would expect from Amon Amarth, while hardly adding anything new. The main difference I can hear is that the pace tends to slow down a bit more often than before, giving the music more of a morose quality at times. Predictable as it may be, however, _The Crusher_ is another very enjoyable and memorable album from these Swedes -- but they will need to be careful in order to ensure their future albums will still be relevant in spite of their predecessors."]

(article published 12/8/2001)

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