Amon Amarth – Berserker (2019)

Review by Greg Noble.

Since 1998 Amon Amarth have served up a rich feast of Viking death metal. “Beserker” is no exception as it ‘lets the lightning crack the blackened sky’.

With their grand storylines and warlike riffs, they weave intricate tales of struggle, conquest and dogged victory.

‘Fafner’s Gold’ opens the album with frantic, driving guitars that are the soundtrack to a grand adventure. ‘Crack the Sky’ includes drumming that is like a heart attack, as the guitars wail in counterpoint to each other. ‘Shield Wall’ almost feels reptilian, where the vocals and guitars mesh into a metal masterclass. ‘Valkyria’ steps back a little, allowing some respite from the frantic pace set so far.

‘Skoll and Hati’ is fast-paced and ‘Wings of an Eagle’ is a mosh-ready track that speaks of overcoming disillusionment.

‘Into the Dark’ serves as a terrific end to the album, with a theatrical opening that bleeds into slower vocals that speak of staying strong. It then again closes theatrically, almost like a heartbeat, leaving you primed to continue into the dark on your own.

“Beserker” is a solid anchor to Amon Amarth’s body of work.  However, it does feel a little long and it doesn’t break any new ground – but that’s not what Amon Amarth is about. They’re about strong vocals, driving drums and robust guitars that tell tales of inner strength when you need it, overcoming the odds and ‘come what may, we hold our heads up to the sky’.


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