It has been 3 years since Sweden’s Viking warriors Amon Amarth released Jomsviking. They return now with a new album and this first single, Raven’s Flight.
Raven’s Flight will feature on Amon Amarth’s 11th studio album, Berserker. Berserker will be released via Metalblade Records on the 3rd of May. A lot has happened since the release of Jomsviking, a strong but slightly divisive album. With loads of memorable hooks and powerful songs, it was also their most modern sounding and accessible of their releases leading the terrible purists to bemoan the change. Read our thoughts on Jomsviking here. What it did though is open the doors for an army of new fans that saw Amon Amarth jump to headliner status at 2018’s Bloodstock Festival. You can read a review of how they did here but in short, they owned it.
So now it’s on to the next chapter for the Swedish five piece fronted by the giant, otherwise known as Johan Hegg. Surely they will be looking to consolidate their position as one of the biggest metal bands in the world and the only way you do that in metal is with quality music. On to Raven’s Flight then.
Raven’s Flight is nearing 5 and a half minutes and is solid, dependable Amon Amarth while being a little unspectacular. A waving lead guitar starts us off before a rolling drum beat jumps in. That is soon followed by a short roar. A strong start with plenty of speed and heaviness wrapped up in clean production.
The verses have some serious chug to them as the vocals are delivered with battle-ready venom. It’s a real head banger of a rhythm too. Lots of bass and fast, but catchy, drum patterns. A more melodic lead guitar adds a higher tone over the bassy riff. Gaps between verses and chorus are the best bit so far with a low rumbling riff that should get bodied moving in the pit. If that doesn’t, the cry of “WAR” that leads into some dark and sinister blackened vocals over the same crunching rhythm will. The chorus is decent with plenty of fists in the air moments about unity and holding your heads to the sky.
The second chorus brings us into a storming solo. An underlying bass rhythm sounds majestic allowing the lead guitars to meander off in many directions. The solo ends into a couple repeats of the chorus. You think this is the end of a decent song but the best is yet to come as we head back into another instrumental section. Slamming bass tones and a chunky riff with melodic lead guitars slam you one last time in 30 seconds of head banging happiness through to the end.
Raven’s Flight is a very good song. Very typical of Amon Amarth though, don’t expect any surprises here. It does sound a little like they have moved back to a heavier sound then on their last release, Jomsviking, but with the same, clean and modern production. Like a remastered version of an older song. I don’t want to complain about it really. It is very good, after all. Experimentation works for some bands or genres but Viking metal isn’t really one of them. It is what it is and Raven’s Flight is just another strong entry in a strong catalogue of music.
What you do get here is heavy riffs, made for banging your head too. A decent chorus, made for raising your fists, or Viking horns too, and drums that hit with enough force to make you feel like you are on a quaking battlefield. The instrumental sections are the best part of Raven’s Flight for me. The solo is awesome, the bassy prechorus is bone shuddering and the melodic heaviness in the outro is a glorious way to end a very good song. Looks like we could be on for another strong Amon Amarth album here but we should expect no less from maybe the most consistent performer in the melodic death metal genre.
Ravens Flight 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.
Raven's Flight by Amon Amarth (Berserker)
The Final Score - 8/10