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The Fate of Norns awaits us all... - 90%

Sidewinder, August 19th, 2004

Another Amon Amarth album launched with a trademark viking 'Yaaaaaaaaargh' can't be a bad thing. All around, the characteristic Amon Amarth sound can easily be recognized. Nowhere on the album does the band experiment or otherwise stray from the path outlined by their four previous offerings.

Johan Hegg's vocals are sometimes spoken and sound more thoughtful which isn't something that was featured as much on other albums but it isn't very noticeable since they're as deep as always. It fits the general mood of the album which is more on the mourning than on the vengeful side that was proeminent in Versus the World. The music is more melody-driven than their previous works, following the tone set by 'Where Silent Gods Stand Guard', a slower song that stood out on that album full of aggressive songs. The screams sound desperate on some songs, like the title track, "The fate of Norns awaits us all, there's no way to escape", which suits the emotional melodies, emotional in a sending a shiver down your spine only to better break your bones in half later way, of course.

All the songs have that same desperation meets reckless assault feel. They don't all seem to run together though, all possessing a distinctive melody, some with catchy parts to boot. So Amon Amarth are back with yet another slab of their unique folkish viking-inspired metal which, while it's nothing entirely new, is definitely worth hearing as the band manages to once again create music that never gets boring while staying within the boundaries of their particular style.