Posts Tagged ‘Melodic Death Metal’

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.

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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!

As always we give you two music videos of the week and here is one from the heavier side of life. Legendary Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquility are gearing up to release their 11TH studio album Atoma on November 4TH via Century Media. To help pass the time until then, the band has unleashed the music video for the track The Pitiless which is a performance based video. The video is kind of a behind the scenes look at the band when they go on stage and the steps it takes to get there. The band talked about choosing The Pitiless as their first single saying, “Selecting the first single from an album as diverse as Atoma is always a hard task, but we felt that ‘The Pitiless’ gives a good representation of the general vibe of the material. It’s fast, melodic and with a sense of urgency that permeates the whole album.” You can also catch the band when they head out on tour in the late fall with Swallow The Sun, Enforcer, Starkill, and it kicks off November 4TH. Check out the tour dates here and check out the album cover below:

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Sometimes one of the greatest ways to show your respect for someone or a band is to cover their song and do it justice. When I found out earlier today that Nick Menza had passed away, I was saddened as he was apart of my favorite lineup of Megadeth dubbed the classic lineup (Menza, Friedman, Ellefson, and Mustaine). So after hearing that I decided that I was going to dedicate the Cover Of The Week to Nick Menza and I chose the perfect Megadeth cover. In 2004, melodic Death Metal act Arch Enemy released an EP titled Dead Eyes See No Future and on that EP was a cover of the Megadeth classic Symphony Of Destruction. The twin guitar attack of Chris and Michael Amott do the song justice while Angela Gossow takes the vocals and makes them heavier with her incredible vocal abilities. It almost sounds to me  like the band had to slow it down a bit to match with her vocal flow which is OK with me because it’s a balls to the wall amazing cover all around. Check it out below and don’t forget to check out the album itself. R.I.P. Nick Menza

a2604078974_10For years, I have tried to promote unsigned metal bands from all over the Earth whether it was on my music video show The Monster Hour, my college radio show Pedal To The Metal Radio, or now on this blog. One of those bands that I have had the pleasure of sharing on different platforms is Bloodshot Dawn, a melodic death metal band all the way from Portsmouth/Hampshire, England and now they are this week’s Unsigned Band Of The Week. These guys are heavy hitters and they deliver their punishing brand of metal with a fury. The track I chose for you guys comes off their debut self titled album (which was released back in 2012) and it’s called Godless. The track showcases the band’s razor sharp, in your face riffs with the punishing blast beats, and Josh McMorran’s vocals are angry and commanding which is just the way we like it. Why these guys have not been signed by now, I do not know, but you have to check them out for yourselves. To get more information on the band, check out their Facebook page here and check out their Youtube page here for more music. Check out the track Godless below:

On September 18, legendary American melodic death metal act The Black Dahlia Murder will be releasing their seventh studio album Abysmal via Metal Blade Records. When describing the album, frontman Trevor Stmad described it saying, “The new album, Abysmal, is true to The Black Dahlia Murder formula, but further down the evolutionary path we began with our Ritual release. It has bigger, more dynamic and developed songs. People can expect a more raw and natural sounding TBDM record. It’s the most real and live sounding thing we’ve done since our debut. It has a real energy and urgency to it. We made a conscious effort of having a more lively and dynamic sound and I feel the result is truly excellent.  What I hear is my band playing as they do live when I step off the stage at soundcheck. Therefore, this is the real TBDM incarnate.” As far as touring for the album is concerned, the band does promise that there will be plenty of that, “Expect a relentless world ravaging touring cycle from us for the next couple of years. You’d better start exercising your necks now!” Check out the track below and be on the lookout for tour dates as soon as they are available.

PromoImage amonThe melodic death metal crew from Tumba, Sweden, Amon Amarth who takes it’s name from the Sindarin name for Mount Doom in J.R.R. Tolkiens Middle Earth is back with their ninth studio album Deceiver Of The Gods. Johan Hegg (Vocals), Johan Söderberg (Guitar), Olavi Mikkonen (Guitar), Ted Lundström (Bass), and Fredrik Andersson (Drums) are back with an album that focuses around the half brother of the almighty Thor named Loki. Every album the band has written and recorded centers around Norse Mythology like Surtur Rising dealt with the mythical giant Surtr and With Oden On Our Side obviously dealt with Odin. When I received the advance copy, I was super excited because the last album really opened my eyes to how incredible this band really is. So, without further ado let’s check out the album.

PromoImage amon 3As you can see above, the album artwork is just out of this world and incredible. The title track is the first track on the album and what a way to kick it off. The musicianship stands out the most to me because these guys are incredible musicians. The opening riff has this real epic feel to it before the music just melts your face off and the tempo changes are amazing as well. As Loke Falls is the next track and it proves these guys are here to stay with the epic riffs before it kicks into the verse and it hits you like a machine gun. The band has this uncanny ability to mix the lightning fast playing of death metal with the melodic side of Iron Maiden. Father Of The Wolf is a track that would make Judas Priest proud to call them one of metal’s finest. Metal bands definitely need to take a cue from these guys. Shape Shifter starts off like a canon where it just explodes right into the madness with the riff lords hard at work while Hegg’s screams can be heard all the way across the world. Under Seige is the melodic death metal at it’s finest where it blazes across your speakers leaving your eardrums screaming for mercy. Halfway through the track if you don’t know who Söderberg and Mikkonen are by this point, you really need to do your homework. I hope the Revolver Golden God Awards committee is paying attention.

PromoImage amon 2Blood Eagle starts off with what sounds like a man being severely dismembered before the song kicks in and it sounds like hell is marching in with epic chants of war. We Shall Destroy is one of my favorite tracks on the record and it’s metal at it’s finest with the sledgehammer like riffs followed by the race car fast riffs. Hel is combines elements of sledge metal in the riffs and features former Candlemass singer Messiah Marcolin on the track. Coming Of The Tide reverts back to the razor sharp fast riffs the band is known for. Warriors Of The North is the last track on the album and they saved the best for last as it’s the victory song. It’s the end of the story of Loki who battles Thor for control of the kingdom. The band is relentless in their pursuit of speed in the songs from the first to the last and it’s absolutely incredible. The way they can change the tempo of the song at the stop of a dime.

This is available with the special edition

This is available with the special edition

As I have said all throughout the review these guys are the most incredible metal band out there today. This is definitely the album of the year in my opinion. If there is something new you need, if you need something heavier and something badass then check out Amon Amarth. These guys in my opinion is what I have been searching for in metal for a long time. The album, Deceiver Of The Gods, comes out on June 25 where ever albums are sold and I am giving this album a well deserved 5 stars out of five. Are you ready to have your mind blown? Strap on your seat belt cause your definitely going for one hellacious ride.