With The Crusher, their third album proper, Amon Amarth firmly establish their Swedish selves as the new Unleashed • that is, an AC/DC-ish icon on reliability/predictability, an icon who reliably/predictably delivers the goods, usually at a throbbing mid-tempo; in other words, neither disappointingly regressive nor shockingly progressive, just there • but (very) loudly. So, how should that strike you, the weary listener? Depends, really. Given Amon Amarth•s sound • one that•s akin to Hypocrisy•s last three or four records (Into The Abyss excluded, in most cases), and rife with those sweeping, tundra-entrenched melodies that evoke the Viking mythology probed in their lyrics • is neither hip nor out, it•s ultimately rewarding to a growing legion of rivetheads intrepidly searching for a hearty headbang. And, essentially, that•s precisely what The Crusher is: ultimately rewarding and heartily headbanging. Sure, that may strike some as potentially off-point or even oversimplified, but seeing that this writer totally fell in love with Unleashed ever since their •91 debut, Where No Life Dwells, back in his halcyon days of 8th grade (same year, •case your counting), well•there you go. A hammerhearted voyage to icy waters hardly unknown • to Asgaard we fly!
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