Release Date: March 29, 2011
PICTURE DISC LP
2 SIDED SURTUR RISING picture disc
Die cut GATEFOLD sleeve
1. War of the Gods
2. Tock's Taunt - Loke's Treachery Part II
3. Destroyer of the Universe
4. Slaves of Fear
5. Live Without Regrets
6. The Last Stand of Frej
7. For Victory or Death
8. Wrath of the Norsemen
9. A Beast Am I
10. Doom Over Dead Man
In May of 2010, Amon Amarth - Hegg, guitarist Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg, bassist Ted Lundstrom and drummer Fredrik Andersson - began writing what would become Surtur Rising. Recorded at Park Studios and Fascination Street Studios and produced at Fascination Street Studios by Jens Bogren, the offering is named in tribute to Surtur, leader of the fire giants of Muspelheim ("flame land") and the oldest being in the nine worlds of Norse mythology. According to legend, when Surtur lights his sword in the Eternal Flame, he will be given the power to raze the nine worlds. It's a gripping story - both visually and thematically - for what is easily Amon Amarth's most sonically monolithic offering to date. "It was a cool story and character," elaborates Hegg, "and one we knew we could write a really brutal song around."
The eighth long-player in Amon Amarth's winding discography, Surtur Rising offers ten tracks of fist-raising, peck-flexing, hyper climactic fight anthems led by the fiery lungs of Hegg, searing rhythms and a volatile twin riff assault with a courser, more organic-sounding production to add more depth to their already consuming tone. "A major change for us on this album was the sound and production," comments the frontman. "It was one of the main things we had discussed before going into the studio. We thought we needed to be a bit more aggressive and rougher than the previous two. We wanted a harder, tougher sound and I definitely think we got that."
Each track writhes under the weight of its own valiant heaviness with the band's signature Viking themes pulling it all together. From the first world war between the two clans of gods in "War Of The Gods" to the return of Loke, the god of treachery, in "Tock's Taunt - Loke's Treachery Part II," (Loke first appeared on 2006's With Oden On Our Side studio offering in "Hermod's Ride To Hel - Lokes Treachery, Part 1"), Amon Amarth manage to keep the Norse gods glued to their headphones for 48 minutes. "We basically deal with Loke's actual deceit on 'Loke's Treachery Part II.' When he totally told the gods to go fuck off," laughs Johan. "Then there's the title track which talks about Surtur and his fight against Frej [the ruler of peace and fertility and the son of the sea god Njord] at the end of the world," he continues. "It's told from the perspective of Surtur himself. Then we did something kind of cool and have 'The Last Stand Of Frej,' which is derived from the same Norse myth but told from a totally different perspective. I thought that was pretty cool to do. to have that kind of mirror effect."
Metal Blade Records item #149721