Posts Tagged ‘Amon Amarth’

Amon Amarth - Twilight of the Thunder God (2008).jpgOne of the coolest bands on the metal scene that is repping Viking Metal is none other than the mighty Amon Amarth. I was looking for an album to review for this week’s Album Of The Week and I came across the Swedish Melodic Death Metal kings. I decided that I wanted to cover the band’s seventh studio album Twilight Of The Thunder God which was released on September 30, 2008. The album featured Johan Hegg (Vocals), Olavi Mikkonen (Guitar), Johan Söderberg (Guitar), Ted Lundström (Bass), and Fredrik Andersson (Drums) while the album was produced by Jens Bogren (Moonspell, Kreator). It is said that the album is based on the story of Thor’s slaying of the serpent Jörmungandr. When the album was released it peaked at number 50 on the Billboard Top 200 charts which marked the first time that the band had charted in America while the album peaked at 11 in Sweden which was the band’s highest chart spot there in their native country. The album was also ranked at number six on Metal Hammer Magazine’s Top 50 albums of 2008 marking the band finally making a stamp in the scene with Metal Blade Records on their side.

Twilight-Of-The-Thunder-God-2-picture1.Twilight Of The Thunder God– The title track kicks off the album and it kicks off with one heck of a metal riff before blasting into overdrive. The track is about Thor having to battle Jörmungandr at Ragnarok. The track features one of the best guitar solos I’ve ever heard and it features Roope Latavala doing the solo. 5/5

2. Free Will Sacrifice– A fierce riff opens up the track that is all about the soldiers of Asgard who are willing to die for Asgard in order to reach Valhalla. 4.5/5

3. Guardians Of Asgard– I love the riffage in these tracks because this is another example of a track that has classic metal written all over it in a track that is all about the men that protect Asgard (the einherjar). The track also features Lars Göran Petrov of Entombed on vocals. 5/5

4. Where Is Your God?– Another thunderous metal riff drives this track that seems to be about when the Vikings raided a land, they would ask where is your God now to protect you from them. I think that is what they are talking about. The track bounces from that metal riff to a more traditional death metal riff with the sonic face melting fast guitar playing. 4.5/5

5. Varyags of Miklagaard– A cool track that is all about the Varangian Guard who were sent to protect the Emperor to the east. 4.5/5

twilight-of-the-thunder-god-4df64327444cb6. Tattered Banners And Bloody Flags– The song starts with a battle like drum and guitar riff in this track that is all about the final battle between the Gods in Ragnarok. You want to hear some bad ass playing then check out this track and that double bass fury. 5/5

7. No Fear For The Setting Sun– Another bad ass metal riff from the band that is hard charging and in your face. The track is about a soldier who realizes that today could be his last day as he is in the middle of battle, but he is ready to make his final stand. 4.5/5

8. The Hero– A very interesting track that seems to be about a man who is a mercenary that is asked to protect a town and he dies doing it. He is then dubbed a hero by the people just because of this one act, but he doesn’t feel that he is because of his past. 5/5

9. Live for the Kill- This has a Judas Priest feel to it at first with the guitar riff which is pretty cool and the track even features Apocalyptica playing cello on it. 4.5/5

10. Embrace of the Endless Ocean– The last track on the album which is a tragic way to end the album not because of whether it’s a good track or not, but because it has an unfortunate ending. The track is about a slave who has finally gained his freedom, but n his way home his ship is struck and he drowns. 5/5

My Final Thoughts– If you are a fan of unbelievable guitar riffs and the technical abilities that Mikkonen and Söderberg possess then this is the album for you. These guys are amazing and they prove it with every album, but this one is special. This is one of my favorite albums from the band who are also great story tellers. Check it out for yourselves and prepare to be blown away. I am giving the album 4.75 stars out of five for a final grade.

Advertisements

war of the covers rolling stonesAnother week has passed and another war is finished as all of you came by and you voted as to who covered Kiss’s War Machine better. Was it Amon Amarth or was it Six Feet Under? Well, you voted and Amon Amarth came out on top by one vote. When it came to deciding this week’s War Of The Covers, I wanted to go on the hard rock side of things and find a track that some legendary 80’s bands have covered. I found it int he form of the classic 1968 Rolling Stones classic Street Fighting Man which was off of the band’s legendary album Beggar’s Banquet. The two bands we chose for you guys to fight over is none other than 80’s Hair Metal giants Mötley Crüe and a band that should have never been looped in that conversation in Sacramento hard rock legends Tesla. In 2005, Mötley Crüe covered the track for their 2005 greatest hits album Red, White, and Crüe as part of three unreleased never before heard tracks. In 2007, Tesla would include a cover of the song as part of an all covers album entitled Real To Real which also included covers of Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Guess Who, and many more. Now it’s up to you guys to decide who you think did the better cover of Street Fighting Man, is it the bad boys from Hollywood Mötley Crüe or is it Tesla? You have until the next War Of The Covers to decide.

war of the covers war machineLast week, we had a battle between Hatebreed and Gojira as to who covered Metallica’s Ride The Lightning track Escape better. You voted, the results are in, and the winner of that battle is Hatebreed by two votes which means it was a closer match than the first one. This week we have an interesting battle for all of you as we feature two titans of their respective metal sub-genres covering one common track between them. In one corner, we have Floridian death metal act Six Feet Under who have been destroying everyone in their paths since 1993 when they signed with Metal Blade Records. In the other corner is their label mates who come from across the ocean from deep in the heart of Europe in Swedish melodic death metal (often credited as Viking Metal) band Amon Amarth. What could be the common thread between the two of them besides the fact that they are on the same label and almost the same genre? Well, if you are observant, then you would see that it is the fact that they both covered War Machine, a cool track from Kiss’s tenth studio album Creatures Of The Night. It’s not surprising that they covered a Kiss track as Kiss had influenced a lot of different metal bands, but who did the song better? Six Feet Under covered the track on their third album, 1999’s Maximum Violence while Amon Amarth had it as a bonus track to their eighth studio album Surtur Rising. Unfortunately, only one of them can win and you are going to decide who by voting. You have until the next War Of The Covers post to decide. So, vote wisely and carefully!

2017-headerFrom day one, I stated that this tournament has always been about the fans voting for their favorite bands and that without the help of the bands sharing the posts there would be no tournament. With that being said, I wanted to say congratulations to Queensrÿche and their fanbase on being the 2017 Pedal To The Metal Champions. They brought the title back to the Dio division where it had been twice before and they are also the first band to defeat a Chuck Schuldiner division band who dominated the last two years. I was going to initiate the mercy rule after about two days of voting, but the truth is that I didn’t have internet access for three days so I let it keep going. The cool fact about it is that the band won by the highest margin ever in the tournament’s history. The band won the tournament by a whopping 1,553 votes which shatters the previous margin which was 285 votes. So, if you are a Queensrÿche fan then you deserve a pat on the back for not listening to the haters and showing your allegiance because this is what the tournament is all about. I want to also take the time to thank Queensrÿche and any of the other bands that shared the links because again without you this tournament would not be possible. I am not 100% sure if the tournament is going to come back next year, but if it does then Queensrÿche fans, it’s time to take hold of the flame and build an Empire by voting them to the finals again. We’ll see you all next year and show some love by liking my Facebook page here.

Queensryche Banner

2017 finalsIt is that moment that you all have been waiting for, the Pedal To The Metal finals is finally here and a lot of people are butt hurt over this tournament still. While I have been enjoying the tournament, I hope all of you whiners out there have your cheese and wine because the two bands that are in the finals are here for a reason and that is because there fanbase has gotten them to this very point. I mean you can not argue with Queensrÿche and the fact that they defeated Megadeth by a 1000 votes. It’s what this tournament has been all about from day one is for the fanbases to vote for their favorite bands. It has always been that way ever since the tournament started and I’ve seen the upsets like Savatage over Judas Priest some years ago or even this year with Accept over Iron Maiden which still has metal fans butt hurt over that. Two years ago or so, Death Angel bounced Metallica out of the tournament and no one had a problem with it then, but that is because that is the beauty of this tournament or any tournament you see on Metalinjection.net or even Loudwire where they have fans vote. Again without the bands sharing this or the various fan forums, there is no tournament. Who is Queensrÿche facing in the finals, well they are facing Viking Metal titans Amon Amarth, a band that has battled back many times in the tournament and they did that against Lamb Of God, who for a while looked like they were moving on, but Amon Amarth’s fans voted them back into the finals when it counted. So, there it is, Amon Amarth vs Queensrÿche for the title of Pedal To The Metal champion, you have until April 5TH at 6AM ET to vote for the pedal to the metal champion so just have fun and vote.

2017 final fourIt is here, the moment you have all been waiting for when we separate the men from the boys. Two bands are one step closer to realizing their goal of winning the pedal to the metal championship which has seen the likes of Motley Crue, Judas Priest (2013 & 2014), Kreator, and Destruction (defeated Iron Maiden to win championship) all win the pedal to the metal championship. I was wondering heading into this tournament if we would finally see someone other than Judas Priest go back to back, but after three rounds of fan voting, we are going to once again have a brand new champion. In fact, all four bands in the final four have never been this far in the tournament which makes it even more exciting and this is also the first time in three years that not a single member of the Big Teutonic Four are in the final four. For Lamb Of God and Amon Amarth, this is the first time these two bands have been in the tournament so it’s a win no matter the result for both these bands. For tournament veterans Queensryche and Megadeth, this is a chance for both bands to finally win the championship that has been alluding them both since 2011 when the tournament started. You have until March 28 at 11PM ET to vote for who you want to see in the finals. I want to remind people that without the bands sharing the tournament, there is no tournament. This is a fan base vs fan base tournament so vote for the band you love and show your unity. If you forget how it works then follow this link.

2017 final fourI am hoping that at this point in the game that you understand how the tournament works and that you stop crying about Iron Maiden not being in the tournament anymore. We have an interesting scenario this year and one is that this is the first year that Iron Maiden is not in the final four and that there will completely be a new champion when it is all said and done. This tournament has always been about one fan base versus another and if a band does not share the tournament on their Facebook page, then I cannot be held responsible for them not winning. I am not Loudwire or Metalinjection.net, I don’t have their kind of pull. I am just a guy who loves metal and tries his best to promote it when he can. Anyways, one fan base that showed up to the tournament for sure was Queensryche’s fan base as they without a doubt sent their band through to the final four by 753 votes. Megadeth’s fan base also came to bat as they destroyed Testament by 728 votes setting up a match with Queensryche. The next match featured two newcomers with something to prove as Lamb Of God took on Trivium. The match was close for the most part, but in the end Lamb Of God distanced themselves winning by 316 votes.

Pedal Is WorldwideOur last match of the Elite 8 round was the most interesting one because it was so darn close right up until the end. Tournament newcomer, Amon Amarth took on 2015 champion (who defeated Iron Maiden to win the championship) Kreator in our last match of the elite 8 round. These two bands were separated by a couple of votes for almost the whole entire round. It was quite an amazing site to see, but in the end Amon Amarth pulled off the win by only seven votes (710-703). I will be setting up the matches real soon so stay tuned. I also wanted to express how excited I was at the turn out for the tournament and where you guys are coming from because we have reached nations like Singapore, Mexico, Netherlands, Finland, Argentina, Bulgaria, Thailand, Israel, Peru, Lithuania, Taiwan, Cayman Islands, Faroe Islands, Vietnam, Macedonia, and an island named Jersey just to name a few. There were way too many nations to list, but to me that is exciting and that is what this is all about. I just hope that we can get more and more countries involved in this tournament and that Iron Maiden fans stop being so salty over this.