Many bands decide to delve into the realm of Nordic Myth, but none have done so quite like Amon Amarth. Surtur Rising paints a vibrant and bloody picture of an ancient battleground. Surtur, the Nordic embodiment of heat and flame, depicted in the album artwork as a Viking warrior wielding a sword of fire, is the focus of this albums concept. It’s a very violent and appealing concept for the ninth Amon Amarth album. Most definitely not your typical death metal and you can trust me when I say the material is just as heavy as the concept.

From the ballad ‘Doom Over Dead Men’ to the much more aggressive ‘Destroyer of the Universe’, Amon Amarth have covered all bases and have something for everyone. ‘Live Without Regrets’ became my personal favorite because of the catchy inspiring riff and with lyrics like, “Raise your horns to those who died, let’s drink to fallen friends tonight”, how could you not want to headbang? Begg’s vocals are mid range and lead the listener into these catchy melodic riffs while Soderburg’s intricate solos, although nothing too complex, are just enough to create a powerful and primal atmosphere. Together, Amon Amarth’s sound and song structure allows them to reach a wider audience than most metal bands.

Combined with the vibrant album artwork, Amon Amarth delivers with the total package. There is more than enough to entice fans into going out and picking this one up. The album also includes a DVD with over 33 songs from 3 albums performed live at Bochum, Germany in 2008. An impressive feat in itself, we may soon be saying Amon Amarth among other heavy metal heavyweights such as Metallica or even the Big Four sometime in the future.

For now to hold us over we are left with An Evening with Amon Amarth. A very special one time performance with just Amon Amarth, performing 2 completely different sets in promotion for this album in one spectacular night at the Nile Theater this Monday the 25th of April. So if you have eighteen bucks and nothing to do Monday night I would mark this as a can’t miss. Surtur Rising is a relevant and progressive album with a gripping concept…a must have for all lovers of melodic death metal for 2011!