Given the ever growing hype around Amon Amarth and there continual rise in the Metal scene I decided to pick this one up. Its the Swedish groups 10th full length in over twenty years as a group. With themes of Norse mythology and viking warfare they have been hailed by some as thee Viking Metal band. Amon have unfortunately never done much to captivate my attention as other bands in the genre had. I can hear whats distinct and unique about this band but it doesn't get me fired up or create an atmosphere I can absorb.
After many listens the same flat, mediocrity of neutrality emerges. I find myself feeling rather indifferent to its presence. "Jomsviking" is aesthetically soft and sterile with crisp guitar distortions, dense baselines and punchy, balanced drums forming a warm and approachable mix of crunchy toned down Melodic Death Metal. Hegg's vocals are the heaviest aspect of their sound, he growls and bellows meaty screams with a vibrant texture that doesn't get overbearing, probably an easier tone for a newcomer to digest.
This album progress through the motions with simple song structures and prominent guitar riffs that outline the songs directions and build the Norse themes. As much as I can hear "it", their is no stir of emotion within me in response to their riffing style. The guitar leads drop into particular tracks with bright colorful tones and melodies sometimes reminiscent of Iron Maiden. Together they steer the ship with a sense of destination in sight. The themes however are particularly uninteresting to me with a lack of poetry or sense of scale delivered in the lyrics. They often culminate with a simple use of words and basic rhyming pattern that has the words steered by matching rhymes in favor of visionary word play.
Its all a matter of preference and as much as Id like to get into this record It just doesn't stir me. Looking forward to seeing them at download though, seeing a band live can help it "click" which is yet to happen for me. Ill stay neutral on this one, there is a couple of tracks with a bit of spark but equally some that bore me too. One thing I can say is nothing here felt out of place or obscene, its a well rounded record.
Favorite Track: Wanderer, Raise Your Horns