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Holy Shit… - 83%

OzzyApu, May 19th, 2009

…it’s better than the debut! First time hearing this I wasn’t so please and felt it was boring and unnecessary. Wrong dumbass! This is by far the best release these guys have created – even their newer shit under a different band name doesn’t compete in the slightest bit.

Immediately opening with “Sefldeceiver (The Purest Of Hate),” I picked up on the heavy thrash influence. The track is fast-paced, melodic, intense, and as fun as pillaging. In fact, most of the songs are like this, but they don’t get tiring or redundant at all. The riffs themselves keep me entertained as they churn around, chug endlessly, and paint a bloody red picture in my head like the cover art. That said, the riffs are darker and more sinister than the previous album, which aimed to be more classical and innocent.

The most ferocious aspect is the drumming: complacent double bass, cymbals torn asunder like crazy, and a berserk pattern overwhelm the listener while the guitars go in for the mercy kill. This is expected from Andersson, who joined Amon Amarth before the creation of this album and thus gained a bit more experience – it shows. Another surprising fact is that solos are more abundant and kick more ass than ever before. “The Void” had me so entranced by its bridge solo and the following riff of desolation that I had to make sure it was the same band.

Ultimately, this album will sound exactly like Amon Amarth – the stampeding rhythm, crushing riffs, malevolent bass (doesn’t play a huge role), and the shredded screams of Hansen are all similar to early Amon Amarth. The only real difference is that this album has a “thinner” sound and thus the impact isn’t as thunderous. Compared to the debut though, it’s pretty powerful stuff. The riffs themselves sound romantically tragic and more convincing in supremacy. Growling like Amon Amarth would have been preferred and to some extent Hansen does some, but the majority here are screams that would fit better on a black metal album.

So uh, wow, quite the change in the right direction. To bad these guys would fuck it up by breaking up for a few years and then getting back together to form a shitty industrial / Gothenburg band. They could have easily continued this progression and made something along the lines of Sacrilege, another hostile melodic death band.