Over the band's seven-album career, its stubborn resistance to change has been one of Amon Amarth's hallmarks; there's no doubt that when the band releases a new record it will be heavy as hell, melodic death metal with a higher quality control than most. Last year's Twilight of the Thunder God proved that thesis, as the band's signature elements of twin-guitar harmonies, furious double-bass drumming and lyrics about warfare and carnage were all in place, with the album's only sign of evolution being that it somehow sounds even heavier than the last one.
So if tunes with titles such as "Where Is Your God?," "Death in Fire" and "Gods of War Arise" awaken your inner Thor, and you can handle a beefy man with a gnarly beard bellowing, "I know who I am/I am an evil man," then strap on the gauntlets, fill your horn with mead and get there early to also see the awesomely named Goatwhore, along with Skeletonwitch.
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-- Chris Steffen