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Amon Amarth | Surtur Rising | review | metal | Lollipop

Amon Amarth

Surtur Rising (Metal Blade)
By Mike Delano

I'll admit to not knowing just how this hirsute group of Viking metal maniacs made it so big in the U.S. as of late. The ground was already starting to slick with fan froth before their 2008 breakthrough, Twilight of the Thunder God, an album that was a marked improvement over their very solid, but generally unadventurous and unremarkable, earlier output. And I never would've anticipated the further explosion of their popularity since then, culminating in huge hype for Twilight follow-up Surtur Rising and, more tellingly, the OK to pass right by the metal battleground of Worcester on their most recent tour for a sold-out show at The Paradise. Death metal on the marquee in Boston? Since when? But while I may never understand exactly why the masses picked Amon Amarth to swear their loyalty to over scores of other death metal outfits, I can't argue with their taste. Surtur is a worthy successor to Twilight, with the same focus on groove and variety that made that album such a standout. They're pretty similar albums, in fact, with "Tock's Taunt - Locke's Treachery Part II" occupying that same mid-tempo sweet spot as "Guardians of Asgaard," but Surtur has some tricks of its own, the best being the punishing career highlight "Destroyer of the Universe."


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