metal talk
instagram Facebook Twitter RSS
metal talk

29th March 2011

scott adams

amon amarth surtur rising

Halfway through opening track 'War Of The Gods' – just about the time the excellent solo kicks in, you know you're onto something good with 'Surtur Rising', Amon Amarth's seventh full lengther.

There's an anthemic quality – almost Manowaresque in places - about everything the band does, even at its most brutal, which has enabled it to break out of the death Metal ghetto and run, finally, with the big boys.

Take third track 'Destroyer Of The Universe', for instance. Vocalist Johan Hegg puts in the most throat-stripping vocal performance imaginable, a wounded howl from the very depths of the stygian nether lands mixed with a guttural roar only those suffering from the most chronic haemorrhoids can summon forth, yet entirely in tune with what's going on around him musically, the whole creating an eerily unsettling maelstrom of ripping melodic death Metal that is an utter, utter joy to behold.

Or the marvellous crescendo of harmony guitar that ends the magnificently adamantine 'Live Without Regrets'; Only the very best Metal axemen can construct passages that you'll hear the milkman (if such a thing still exists) whistling as he goes about his daily grind, and in Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg Amon Amarth have not one but two such six string genii.

On 'Surtur Rising' everything they touch turns to gold, whether it be the dextrously death defying digital deathstrike of 'War Of The Gods' or something more restrained but no less devastating – 'The Stately Last Stand Of Frej' for instance - there isn't a moment on this album when the hairs all over your body won't be standing to attention, offering a cup of follicular mead to Valhalla in praise of this monstrously good album.

But it doesn't stop there. I'm getting tired writing this stuff (as in fatigued rather than bored, obviously), so the Gods alone know how the band manages to churn it out at this level of quality for so long. Just when you think they can't possibly keep hitting the target, here comes the anthemic (actually anthemic just isn't a big enough word to describe how massive this song is) 'For Victory Or Death', another battle hymn for the Metal hordes who will be snapping this album up in their millions worldwide if there's any justice.

There are an awful lot of bands ploughing a similar furrow to Amon Amarth at the moment, but not a single one of them manages to combine all the elements that make us love Metal with such a grim faced, relentlessly crushing efficiency, or manage to pen entire albums worth of great songs in one sitting.

This is world-beating stuff. Hail.

More Scott Adams right here.



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



Your Email Address:

Travelling To Wacken From:

Your Telephone Number:

Your Enquiry:


metal talk © All written site content is copyright 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.