Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Can No Longer Listen to Amon Amarth Outside the Home

...Or outside any situation where I am either doing domestic chores or eviscerating my enemies. I've developed quite an affection for With Oden on Our Side over the past few months, turning to it a number of times to help distract me from the drudgery of cleaning the massive pile of plates I've ignored all week first thing on a Saturday morning. In the process, I've come to discover it's a really good album, but almost entirely because of the lyrics: every song is either retelling of a Norse epic, a story of a saga, or a description of a battle, and all unrelentingly bad-ass. They're also just intelligible enough to pick out the words and sing along. The music, on the other hand, is woefully generic, providing just enough of a vehicle to support the words and propel them along.

All well and good, but when I'm focusing on something, all I really get is the music, sitting in a layer just below my conscious thought. My forty-five minutes of Viking-metal-fueled rush wimps out in a memory of dullish high speed strumming, with sweet lyrics like "Bear skin on my back/Wolf jaw on my head/Valhall awaits me/When I'm dead" consigned to some mental dustbin so I can concentrate, ruining the whole experience. So, resolved: if I can't scream along to the lyrics, it's not a good place to listen to Amon Amarth.

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