Offers few surprises to their tried and true approach

Onto album number ten now and Amon Amarth have invested a little bit more of themselves into Jomsviking than they did for 2013’s dispassionate and colourless Deceiver of the Gods.

While offering few surprises to their tried and true approach, obviously putting together a complete concept album has sparked a higher level of creativity than has been apparent with this band for quite some time. There is still plenty of uber-generic song-writing and a hokey drinking tune in the shape of ‘Raise Your Horns’, but in presenting Johan Hegg’s take on the Jomsviking story the band has lifted themselves performance-wise. Amon Amarth sound somewhat rejuvenated and there are flourishes of the big epic style they were flirting with on Surtur Rising and a guest appearance by the wonderful Doro Pesch adds a touch of real magic to ‘A Dream That Cannot Be’.

Bringing nothing new to the Amon Amarth oeuvre, Jomsviking is nevertheless a much more satisfying listen than Deceiver of the Gods was, and even more casual fans will enjoy it.

1. First Kill
2. Wanderer
3. On a Sea of Blood
4. One Against All
5. Raise Your Horns
6. The Way of Vikings
7. At Dawn’s First Light
8. One Thousand Burning Arrows
9. Vengeance is My Name
10. A Dream That Cannot Be
11. Back on Northern Shores