Surtur Rising gets off to an aggressive start with “War Of The Gods.” Catchy riffs, a searing solo and Johan Hegg's trademark low-pitched but understandable rasp make it a strong and memorable opener. “Tock's Taunt” runs the gamut from a brief mellow section to very melodic to double bass intensity.
There's no title track per se, but the band considers “Destroyer Of The Universe” to be that track. It's one of the more intense songs on the album. It's companion piece, at least lyrically, is “The Last Stand Of Frej,” which tells the same story from a different perspective.
“Live Without Regrets” is a majestic track that has a very catchy chorus, not exactly sing-along, but maybe growl-along. One of my personal favorites is “For Victory Or Death,” which is packed with great riffs and lyrics about courage and battles. The closing track “Doom Over Dead Man” is another top-notch dose of Viking metal.
Amon Amarth is a band comfortable in their own skin. They have developed a distinctive and very successful sound, and write songs within that framework. And while there aren't drastic changes from album to album, they do add and change things slightly to avoid getting stale. Surtur Rising is another solid entry in the band's impressive discography.
(released March 29, 2011 on Metal Blade Records)