On the 25th of march, Amon Amarth officially released their highly anticipated album Jomsviking after a 3 year gap since their last release Deceiver of the gods. Despite drummer Fredrik Andersson leaving the band after 17 years, his replacement drummer Tobias Gustafsson does a great job at filling the void. The Jomsvikings was an order of viking mercenaries that sold their sword to the highest bidder. Needless to say the songs are practically all about bloody battles, honor and glory and celebrating victories. For this 10th studio release, the band decided on bringing forth a 52 minute concept album. With a storyline written by Johan Hegg himself.
The Jomsvikings and their world is the background for the story of a young man that is in love with a girl but unfortunately she’s being married off. He accidentally kills a man when this happens and he has to flee — but he swears to have revenge and win her back. He can’t let go of the past. He feels that he’s been wronged and his life has been destroyed. The way the story evolves is not a happy story.
Interview with Johan Hegg at Blabbermouth
The first song of this album, First Kill -see video beneath-, starts off the way we are all too familiar with when it comes to Amon Amarth. The calm-ish guitar work that gets heavier throughout the intro of the song, leading up to Johan‘s growling to then explode in your face. Every band knows that the first song of an album is the most important one. Amon Amarth knows this and they didn’t disappoint. My personal favorite song of the album is Raise Your Horns. It’s not a highly technical song but it is a song that you will find yourself grunting to and playing over and over again if you have the album on in the car. Without a doubt this will be one of the songs Amon Amarth will use to get the crowd going this tour. I’m pretty sure the horns will rise and the heads will bang!
One of the songs that stands out most on this album is A Dream That Cannot Be. The fact the band was able to tow in no one less than Doro makes for a very nice surprise. Speaking of surprises, the band adds many new underlying elements to their songs without actually losing any of the things that make them stand out. For the final song of the album, the very fitting name Back On Northern Shores was chosen. The song is a masterpiece in its own right. The perfect end to a perfect album that will leave you in awe ’till their next release.
I give Jomsviking a well deserved 9/10. For fans of Amon Amarth, my verdict is buy this album! For people looking for me to convert them, I’m sorry. The band does bring some new elements into their songs that may or may not captivate you but overall the band is still the same Amon Amarth we know all too well.
Release date: March 25th, 2016
Label: Metal Blade Records
1. First Kill
3. On A Sea Of Blood
4. One Against All
5. Raise Your Horns
6. The Way Of Vikings
7. At Dawn’s First Light
8. One Thousand Burning Arrows
9. Vengeance Is My Name (bonus track – for digibook, digital, LP, and viking ship editions)
10. A Dream That Cannot Be (Featuring Doro Pesch)
11. Back On Northern Shores