Viking warriors, Amon Amarth have released the second single from their incoming new album, Berserker. This is Crack the Sky.
Berserker is set for release on the 3rd of May via Metalblade Records and will be the bands 11th studio album. It follows the very good, and slightly divisive, Jomsviking which came out in 2016. Divisive due to it having a slightly cleaner and more commercial sound. It was still jam packed with memorable hooks and fiery songs though. Jomsviking saw the band on to greater heights with this more accessible sound. That in turn led to a victorious headline slot at Bloodstock Festival.
Amon Amarth are fronted by Johan Hegg with Olavi Mikkonen on lead guitars. Ted Lundström is on bass, Johan Söderberg is on rhythm guitars and Jocke Wallgren is the drummer.
It’s on to the next chapter for the Swedish 5 piece with Berserker. The first single released was a Raven’s Flight and you can read our thoughts on that one here. Crack the Sky is just under 4 minutes long and takes a different approach to the first single going for a lower toned slamming groove with wicked drum rhythms. The intro drumming has a heavy touch of The Pursuit of Viking’s to it which will please, well, everybody. The vocals are delivered with Hegg’s familiar growl, slowly in harmony with the thick, deep riff. The drumming is excellent and little bursts of downtuned melody adds a little spice to proceedings. You get the feel of marching to war through the song, one that feels like it is well suited to their epic live performances.
Lots of images of stomping crowds, head banging and Viking horns being raised springs to mind. The second chorus leads into a wicked solo with more impressive drum rolls and harmonised guitars. The solo ends back into the chorus but with everything elevated a bit. The vocals have even more venom, the guitars ramp it up and the drums create thunder through to the end.
Crack the Sky is another very good song. I love the overall tone they have gone for. It is dark and broody with plenty of heaviness dripping from each note. Things don’t have to be fast to be heavy and although they still have that cleaner edge to them now, it would be difficult to listen to this song and not get your neck moving. The drums stand out brilliantly and the solo is excellent. Lyrically it feels a bit all done before and is quite simple in structure and delivery.
Still, an enjoyable listen with an intro that harks back to bygone days. Crack the Sky is typical Amon Amarth, so there are no real surprises but typical Amon Amarth is a good thing and this is a good song. Berserker looks like it is going to be a very good album. Not one that is going to rip up the rule book and shock us all. Just another very good entry in the catalogue of the kings of all things Viking.
Speaking about Berserker, frontman Johan Hegg states – “For me, this is Amon Amarth 2.0. I think what we’ve done here is give ourselves the space to explore other parts of our musicality and who we are as a band. If you’re content with where you’re at, what’s the point of continuing? We always want to come up with new ideas and find new ways of doing things and to create bigger and better shows and really try to improve every aspect of what the band is. We want to try to keep growing and to do this for as long as we have the possibility to do so, because this is the best fucking job in the world.”
Crack the Sky is available now on all the usual streaming platforms. You can preorder a copy of Berserker now from Amon Amarth’s website here or from Metalblade, here. Keep up to date with Amon Amarth news at their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following the links.
Crack the Sky by Amon Amarth (Berserker)
The Final Score - 8/10