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Victory For The Vikings - 90%

Razakel, September 24th, 2008

This seems to be Amon Amarth’s most controversial album. Many see it as their weakest, while many others see it as the same Viking ass kickery the band have so consistently delivered. I see this as an underrated album. It isn’t their best, nor their worst. It does appear to be largely overlooked as it was released in between two albums that are widely regarded as the bands two best.

Stylistically, it is similar to Versus The World, perhaps less melodic and more heavy. While generally still melodic, many of the riffs are faster and heavier on this album than previous. One thing that has improved with this release is epic atmosphere. Amon Amarth have always been epic, but not exclusively. In previous years, albums may have only had one or two songs with such an mood. This time around, it’s everywhere. Be it the stunning false ending of An Ancient Sign Of Coming Storm, the spoken passage from Where Death Seems To Dwell, the memorable chorus of Pursuit Of Vikings, or the continuing story behind Arson and Once Sealed In Blood. As stated earlier, Fate Of Norns is a more heavy and intense approach to the music. Valkyries Ride and Beheading Of A King display intensity best. The riffs are catchy as hell, and the vocals are vicious.

This album is a lot of fun but not perfect. The extreme consistency of the music sometimes acts as a double edged sword. There are no bad or boring tracks, however when listened to all at once, the album begins to feel restrained and repetitive at times. I would much rather have this problem than an album teeming with filler tracks though. Despite this, Fate Of Norns has great replay value. It has some of their catchiest material (Pursuit Of Vikings) and some of their most epic (Arson).

If you’re a fan of Amon Amarth’s other work, this doesn’t stray from the foundation the band have built in the past. Fate Of Norns is dark, cold, and Viking! If this is sounds interesting to you, I don’t think you’ll regret picking up this album.