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   AMON AMARTH
Fate Of Norns
2004
Metal Blade
http://www.amonamarth.com


rating: 4/5

1. An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm
2. Where Death Seems To Dwell
3. The Fate Of Norns
4. Pursuit Of Vikings
5. Valkyries Ride
6. The Beheading Of A King
7. Arson
8. Once Sealed In Blood

If this (promo) album bleeps at me one more time, by Odin, I shall thrust it forth unto Hades with the unrelenting strength of ten thousand broadswords slicing deftly through a serf. And there it goes again, audio interruption after audio interruption, yet I can't bring myself to rip the damned thing from my cd player. Oh! Cursed spite, thou has curs'd me with this... this....album of epic proportions.

With "Fate Of Norns", their fifth proper album, Amon Amarth continue upon the path of olden lore laden, Nordic winter feeling, rape-and-pillage-and plunder, trample the weaker ones sort of heavy metal they pretty much started without any help from anyone. Amon Amarth play Viking Metal, got it? Good. If not, please stop reading now and go listen to some more radio. Thick with guitar and rich with melody, "An Ancient Sign Of Oncoming Storm" kicks things off nicely. An almost heart warming death metal scream of something along the lines of "yyyyyyeaaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhh" adds to the mood of the song, and then the band kick into full story mode, almost like Maiden. Amon Amarth is a death metal band that just happens to place a lot of stock in Viking mythology, and as such, each of their songs is a story. Oh, and each song is complex, as well, melody and pure metallic heft playing off each other like Thor's hammer bouncing off the skull off, errr, something. Track number two, "Where Death Seems To Dwell", begins with an interlude and a spoken word introduction, and then the death metal core of the band comes into focus around the two minute mark. Once again, the listener is treated to a story. There's a pattern developing here, says I, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing either. The rest of "Fate Of Norns" follows much the same formula as the two opening tracks, and really, as I say, that's a good thing. If anyone else besides Amon Amarth tried it, though, the result would be an absolute disaster. Grab a pint of mead, fellows, and your favorite wench, the time for celebration is now. And for all other metal geeks out there, take a close listen to the first 15 seconds of track four, "Pursuit Of Vikings", and you will find the riff is a slowed down version of the riff heard on Halford's "Hearts Of Darkness."

submitted by Nathan 25.09.2004

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