Amon Amarth - Versus The World


Aug 27, 2002
In Hell
Amon Amarth - Versus The World
Metal Blade, 2002


If you liked Amon Amarth previous work The Crusher you will be definitely blown away with their newest album Versus The World. From the first second you can hear the difference. It's a stronger, heavy album with catchier melodies but its still has its brutal nature. It's a mature release without a single weak point.

I always liked their death metal-based Viking metal but I have to admit this time they produced a more professional album. It's 100% Amon Amarth. They kept their raw brutal side, though the songs are built on melodies. They slowed down a bit too but just as much as it was needed to give a heavier edge to the music and also made it darker. Listening to their album feels like the depths are opening in front of us. True, they play a more melodic death metal now that means more people will get into them with Versus The World. But they didn't give up staying aggressive and severe. The album is full of intense, varied songs one right after another. Every track on Versus The World is made from the same material but not dissolving into one homogeneous mass. The whole album is one composition where every song has its place with its own character. And of course, every song stands on the same quality level.
The Olvai Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg guitar section is amazing; basically the music is built around their riffing rhythm works. At some parts we can clearly hear Ted Lundström's bass playing too. And lets not forget about Fredrik Andersson's drum beatings that give the real energy to the music. The guitars and the drums are rolling together with mighty power. The sound of the album is very balanced. It's clear enough to hear every instrument and sounding natural. I mean they formed the sound to AA's character and didn't just take one of the never failing patterns. The engineers of Berno Studio did a good job with VTW. The pounding music is completed with Johan Heggs deep, guttural growling. The same strictness we've experienced on their previous releases. I especially like his hoarse spoken words in 'Thousands Years Of Oppression'. Johan really sounds like the leader of a Viking horde.

The opener 'Death In Fire' provides a powerful start. It explodes with dynamic rhythms, the double bass work and with the amazing guitars. From this song I can clearly recall the vibrating guitar riffs. It's about the fire that will bring end to our world and on (Only death remains) you can feel its raging heat. The second song 'For The Stabwounds In Our Backs' with a bell at its start, is a more straight forward death metal song, with dry drum parts and with blasting guitars. 'Where Silent Gods Stand Guard' and 'Across The Rainbow Bridge' are slower when comparing them to the other tracks but with their mournful sounding guitars they are still raw and heavy enough, standing up to the expectations of AA. The title track 'Versus The World' opens in a slower fashion that rolls over you. It's pure aggression with the thrilling guitars in the background. 'Down The Slopes Of Death' is about the final battle between Odin and Fenris. They transfer their unstoppable will through the music, stressing the tension with a short bass solo in the middle. It's a real fighting song. 'Thousand Years Of Oppression' is a slow paced but powerful song, laying emphasis on heaviness, surrounded by an epic atmosphere. In 'Bloodshed' Chaos is Unleashed. It's another slower, mournful song that constantly grows on you. Finally, '… And soon the world will cease to be' closes the album. It's a slower song again, containing the powerful characters of their music but taking back from the energy. Nice way to end the album.

Favourite tracks: Death In Fire, Down The Slopes Of Death, Thousand Years of Oppression and Bloodshed.

Amon Amarth lives up to the expectations with Versus The World. Honestly I waited for just 'another' album from them but they surprised me!

1. Death In Fire
2. For The Stabwounds In Our Backs
3. Where Silent Gods Stand Guard
4. Versus The World
5. Across The Rainbow Bridge
6. Down The Slopes Of Death
7. Thousand Years Of Oppression
8. Bloodshed
9. ... and soon the world will cease to be

Length: 47:41

Amon Amarth
Metal Blade Recrods
My thoughts are that this is just another Amon Amarth CD. There's nothing new here as they continue the same formula of the 3 albums prior to it. The saving grace is you at least get another 14 tracks as a bonus with the Viking Edition which is nice for new fans. If you own other Amon Amarth albums and want more of the same, here it is.