Just under a month ago, Swedish Viking death-metal outfit Amon Amarth made their triumphant return to the fold with a new track, "Raven's Flight," from their hotly anticipated coming record Berserker. Today they're back with another victorious anthem of glory titled "Crack the Sky," with head-banging riffs to burn and a highly entertaining video to boot.
The track itself, while maintaining maximum heaviness, is the stickiest kind of catchy. Cyclical, chugging guitar licks over thunderous drums let Johan Hegg's guttural roar shine. Evoking an almost Roots-era Sepultura cadence, the track is simultaneously an earworm and a death-metal brutalizer.
The video (which continues the narrative established in "Raven's Flight") takes on similar dimensions in its catchy barbarism. A club performance featuring an exorbitantly rabid crowd turns violent quickly as each audience member suddenly transforms into flesh-eating demon zombies, much to the horror of the still-performing band. A red-eyed woman gazes in through a window, smirking coldly as the mayhem unfolds.
In a mysterious transmutation scene, a Viking warrior appears from a distant century to slay the earthly demons with his brute force and a blunt object. The same leering lady looks on in defeat and bystanders raise their glasses to this mysterious champion. All this goes down while Amon Amarth remain on stage, never missing a note. By the end, the humans come out on top once more, and the glaring enchantress cracks her knuckles, ready to plan her next siege on the band.
Berserker will be released May 3rd via Metal Blade Records in North America and Sony Music abroad. Pre-order it here.