Amon Amarth

With Oden on Our Side

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Death metal with some melody? Can it be? As evidenced by Amon Amarth's 2006 release, With Odin on Our Side, this dream seems to be a reality early on. On the album opening "Valhall Awaits Me," singer Johan Hegg's vocal lines aren't merely growled syllables. But don't be worried, longtime Amarth fans, it's not like the Swedish outfit has enlisted the help of Burt Bacharach to soften things up, as Hegg's vocals do resort back to the expected death metal growl soon enough, especially on such tracks as "Under the Northern Star." Yet all the while, Hegg manages to hold his own against the riffs and sometimes-Iron Maiden-esque guitar harmonies supplied by Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg. The aforementioned guitar duo also shows they have a talent for penning industrial strength riffs as well, evidenced by such tracks as "Hermods Ride to Hell" and "Runes to My Memory." Nothing remarkably new here, but for admirers of death metal with some added muscle, With Odin on Our Side shows that Amon Amarth continue to be champions of the worldwide death metal tournament.

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