Amon Amarth really outdid themselves on TWILIGHT OF THE THUNDER GODS. Each song was wonderfully crafted, unforgivably catchy and sinfully melodic, yet powerful. Not a bit of filler on the album, unlike the hit and miss FATE OF NORNS. I was very much hoping and praying that they would play ‘Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags’ (my favourite song on the new album, simply because the chorus is so epic), that I’m ashamed to confess that I made a slight fool of myself when Olavi confirmed that they would play it in our pre-show interview.
They kicked off with ‘Twilight of the Thunder Gods’, one of five (!) new songs on the setlist, and all eyes were on Johan Soderberg who was given the thankless task of emulating Roope’s ripping solo on the album track. Considering he’s not a shredder (and has never claimed to be one), he acquitted himself admirably well. ‘Free Will Sacrifice’ has a distinct headbang-able quality to it, and the crowd indulged themselves with abandon. A brief trip to WITH ODEN ON OUR SIDE before ‘Varyags of Miklagaard’ featured some impressive windmilling
‘Under the Northern Star’ and ‘Ride for Vengeance’ are two songs I’ve never heard them play before, and it’s great to have a couple of surprises, but I do wish that songs like ‘Where Silent Gods Stand Guard’, ‘The Sound of Eight Hooves’, ‘Ancient Sign of Coming Storm’ or ‘For the Stabwounds in Our Back’ wouldn’t be left out where lesser songs (no disrespect) such as ‘With Oden on Our Side’ and especially ‘Cry of the Blackbirds’ are included.
‘Guardians of Asgaard’ did not suffer in the least for the absence of the inimitable LG Petrov, but how cool would it have been if he had popped up for a guest duet? Ah, one can dream anyway. ‘North Sea Storm’ is one of the best songs Amon Amarth have ever recorded, and performed to perfection. And then it was time for ‘Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags’, the last of the TWILIGHT songs to be played. My god, it was every bit as epic as I anticipated! That damn chorus, you know, “Sons of Muspel gird the field/Behind them Midgard burns”, it’s just a invitation to blow your tonsils out.
After the customary tea-break with drinking horns and plastic pint cups, the usual suspects closed the night: ‘Death in Fire’ (where Johan indulged in some cross-Channel baiting – “I know they’re frogs and everything, but they have some pretty wild metal fans in France right?” – which always gets a good reaction), ‘Victorious March’, (the weak) ‘Cry of the Blackbirds’ and ‘Pursuit of Vikings’, where my last memory of the night was some spine-chilling synchronised windmilling by all the four guys in front. Another show to chalk up on the ‘Legendary’ ledger. Funny how four of those ledger entries have been Amon Amarth’s.
Twilight of the Thunder Gods
Free Will Sacrifice
With Oden on Our Side
Varyags of Miklagaard
Fate of Norns
Under The Northern Star
Guardians of Asgaard
Ride For Vengeance
North Sea Storm
Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags
Death In Fire
Cry of The Blackbirds
Pursuit of Vikings
Thanks to Andy Turner at Metal Blade for the photo pass, and apologies for the delay!