Review by Jack on July 14, 2001.
This is quality kick-ass ripping up death, Viking ass metal! I’ve never really been a huge fan of the heavy ass quality of death tunes, but this is one of the few records that really changed my perspective about death albums.
Amon Amarth, with “The Avenger” have released a tight, sophisticated short album (shade over 35 minutes) that is pretty much flawless. With ferocious drumbeats by Fredrik Andersson, and sweet twin guitar work by Ovali Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg, it’s really a struggle to find a problem with the second record from Amon Amarth. Vocal work is expertly handled by Johan Hegg, which is of a tough meaty style.
Why only 8.5/10, if this is such a killer record? So what is the main problem with “The Avenger” you ask? It’s damn too short. I’m used to black metal length albums, 50-60 minutes, whilst I’m not judging Amon Amarth, it would just be nice for an extra 15 minutes of playing time, 3-4 more tracks. “The Avenger” just feels like it has room for a bit more shredding Viking action.
Personal favourite tracks for me are the opener: ‘Bleed for Ancient Gods’ and the wickedly titled ‘The Last with Pagan Blood’. The later displays awesome drumbeats, cool nifty guitar work... and fulminating roars from Johan Hegg.
Bloody awesome Viking shit. Unstoppable death riffs... hard ass tunes. Better than any of their other records. Even if you don’t like death metal much like me, still buy this album... you will not be disappointed.
Bottom Line: This is the ultimate in killer death albums... and Amon Amarth are rooted in sweet Viking mythology. I don’t really like death metal heaps, but this record kicks some serious bottom.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10