Released: 2009, Metal Blade
Reviewer: Alan Gilkeson
At the time of THE AVENGER's release, Amon Amarth had cemented themselves firmly as leaders of the oft corny Viking Metal genre. And though lyrically and thematically they lacked some substance, there's no denying that constant growls of 'die', 'sacrifice' and 'war' certainly set the mood at destruction level.
But no one really cared about all that anyway because Amon Amarth made Melodic Death Metal a household term. New, fiery, and guttural, it was hard to find anything wrong with this record. Re-released through Metal Blade, re-mastered and repackaged with a second disc consisting of the second show from “Bloodshed over Bochum”, filmed on December 29th in Bochum, Germany, in which Amon Amarth played THE AVENGER in its entirety.
Unfortunately, it's a pretty horrible live recording. The original album sounds great re-mastered, but disc 2 is basically crap. The band sounds decent but they sound low in the mix, and certainly the intensity of an Amon Amarth gig goes uncaptured. I love that Metal Blade is fixing up and re-releasing the first four albums, but let's hope the other bonus material is better than that we find here.
Metal Rules interview with guitarist Olavi Mikkonen