Berserker - Gary Numan

Father is angry AND disappointed

As I started to write, I love Amon Amarth. Therefore, it has been difficult for me to cook my disappointment down to one measly page of A4, I could easily write a small treatise on why I am so disappointed. But to listen to the Berserker must have been, as when Thor drank of Udgårdlokes drinking horn: a long and salt experience, which never seemed to stop. The album is, however, well-produced, and despite the violent irony that an album by the name of Berserker is a vattet place, so I am now still to see them again at Copenhell, and I wonder if some of the new numbers turn out to be ok, when they are served live?

Disclaimer

Let us just start by getting one thing straight: I knuselsker Amon Amarth! I have done since I discovered them back in 2008, and I have done everything in my power to discover them, each time they have been in Denmark since. Therefore, I am always a bit panicky when they publish something new. For what if it is not as good as it is, they made lately? Should I then stand on the target for it, because I the huge fan, or shall I creep to the cross and recognize it is something fun?

Olavi, set the acoustic guitar down!

Amon Amarth started out in 1992, and as the years have gone by, it has become clear that they were older and therefore perhaps also natural that their music has become more melodic and less classical death. In my opinion was the last real dødsmetalnummer, they have made, "Destroyer of the Universe" from Surtur Rising 2011. And their previous release Jomsviking showed that they were more inspired by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest than of Cannibal Corpse and Death. But Amon Amarth has always been a bit of a sing-a-long-hyggefestband, where you both could rant and enjoy themselves, but also head-banging and sweat on the other guests. This cemented with the two singles they chose to publish, namely "Raven's Flight", there are headbangers-friendly, and "Crack the Sky", which is kind of a little more ølhygge-gumpetung. Unfortunately, it seems that the band has chosen to go all the way up for the headbanger's-fun, and completely down for the ambitions. As a big Amon Amarth fan, it pains me to write these words, but the Berserker is at the time of writing the bleakest album they've released. I might slightly have smelled the fuse, when I heard "Crack the Skye", for it was the one of the two singles that would prove to be the benchmark. Already from the first song, "Fafner's Gold", you sense that something is not as it usually is. Amon Amarth usually have hard-hitting, in-your-face-åbningsnumre and not lejrbålsplimren. Throughout the album one gets the idea that the band has forgotten who they themselves are, again and again you are greeted by elements that normally never has been to find on their releases: cleansinging, acoustic guitars, slow drums and keyboard. It makes you want to grab a hold of his cd and shake it while shouting "Who are you, and where is the right Amon Amarth!?". Most of the 12 numbers is deeply anonymous, and most of them sound, frankly, like the happy swedes have chosen to interpret Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy. Preserved, Olavi said since the other day, that he always loved Iron Maiden's guitarharmonier, but I thought since not, it meant that he would tyvstjæle them in order to reuse them at eight-nine songs! Maybe have it that Johan Hegg has made a number along with Saxon, made him jealous? There is, however, a few bright spots here and there, tracks like "Raven's Flight", "Skoll & Hati" and "Fafner's Gold" is all well and good, and the more numbers yet to be enough prove to make sense when you experience them live, in the same way as the number "Raise Your Horns" from the Jomsviking did it. But it does not change the fact that Berserker is simply nothing worse juks.


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