|Review: Amon Amarth - Once Sent From The Golden Hall|
|Once Sent From The Golden Hall|
Label: Metal Blade Records
Year released: 1998
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: September 11, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Once Sent From The Golden Hall
Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (32 Votes)
This was Amon Amarth's first full-length album, and probably their best one. This band gets a lot of press for their later albums, but to my ears they have been declining from this album on, and have never been as interesting.
But in the beginning, Amon Amarth were one of the few Swedish bands that managed to be melodic without sacrificing aggression. Their first two discs showed off melodic riffing akin to Dissection combined with an epic songwriting style and a dash of pure Nordic ferocity. I like that this album just opens up blasting, with no wussy keyboard intro or 'atmospheric' hogwash. After the breathless charge of "Ride For Vengeance" you get the thunderous "The Dragons' Flight Across The Waves" and then three killers in a row: "Without Fear", followed up with AA's best song ever "Victorious March", and then the blistering "Friends Of The Suncross". There are no bad tracks on this album, though the last few songs do tend to blend together a bit. Overall the consistent quality of the songs is very high, with a nice mix of the melodic feel of the EP with the brutal edge of the later albums, sounding different and epic while still hammering your skull.
I think Amon Amarth have gotten more generic and less interesting with each album since this one, but that doesn't change the fact that this album fucking rips. If you like later AA but have not heard this one, then you need to get it so you will see what grouches like me are bitching about when we say their later albums are not as good. "Avenger" and "The Crusher" were fine, but they can't touch this one. I may prefer their debut EP to any of their other works, but that doesn't change the fact that this is their best. An essential for fans of Melodic Death that isn't for teat-sucking faggots. "Once Sent From The Golden Hall" will split your head like an iron Viking axe.
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