3/28/2012 - Review by: Greg Watson
Sweden's Viking Death Metal masters return with one of their heaviest releases yet! Odalheim is the quartet's 11th album and these Swedes show no sign of slowing down whatsoever. From the opening track, "Fimbulwinter", to the closing track "The Great Battle of Odalheim" the band proves why they have been a death metal force for years now.
Johnny Hedlund proves that you only get better with age as his bass playing and vocals are second to none. He growls and screams his way into your brain and then busts through it with no regard for your well being.
The music on Odalheim is nothing short of aggressively brutal with some melody thrown in for good measure. Frederik Folkare and Tomas Masgard compliment each other so well that sometimes you forget there are two guitars in this band. Drummer Anders Schultz rounds out the group and handles the skins with solid ability.
Conceptually, Odalheim is a fantastic story rich in Norse mythology and lore. It takes place after Ragnarok and continues the story that 2010's "As Yggdrasil Trembles" told. The songs pull you in as you feel a part of the story and then the music comes in and cuts you off at the knees leaving you pondering how in the hell you got blindsided.
This is the best Death Metal release for me so far in 2012. Unleashed will be hard pressed to be overthrown. These boys have been dealing death for 21 years and clearly know what works for them. So go out and pick up your copy of Odalheim and find yourself hopefully in the grace of Odin.
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