Thousand Year War
Tyrants and Men

There’s a fine line between plagiarism and homage. And in metal, that line is even thinner as many acts have simply said, ‘you know what? We like this band we are going to sound just like them, not to rip them off maliciously but they just rock’. For every Suffocation, Entombed, Morbid Angel and Slayer there’s hordes of bands that have come out and simply mimicked them. Some of them have done it really well.

Well, one Hiram Lohr, an individual residing in Alaska, said “‘You know what? I fucking love Amon Amarth and Heathen Foray or Svartsot simply have not done a good enough job of paying homage so I’m going to do it, and do it really fucking well”‘. And by Thor, he has. But then again what else is there to do in  Alaska?

I could simply end this review by stating that Thousand Year War is a very good Amon Amarth cover band, but that would discredit Mr. Lohr and the surprisingly enjoyable album he has put together. Because not only has he (with the help of Kellen Sharp) done a great job of recreating a rousing, crunchy form big and burly but still melodic death metal full of Viking -ish chord progressions (though the themes and lyrics are not exclusively Viking based), he has written some really good, catchy riffs that Amon Amarth would actually be really proud of.

Opener “Defiance” could have opened any  Amon Amarth album, and it’s opening riff does actually come really close to pure plagiarism, but eventually develops a bit of its own character with a blast beat and some higher register vocals. Then the album starts to really finds its grove with a couple of really impressive numbers in the somber ebb of “The Sea” and high energy melodic gallop of “No Gods , No Masters” which also has a nifty little groove about 3:15 in. And that seems to be Hiram Lohr’s knack, despite obviously culling from Amon Amarth, he writes enough creative and memorable riffs to not care. And If I’m being completely honest, if you stuck this CD in an Amon Amarth CD case and told people it was a new Amon Amarth album, people would lap it up and say it was a damn fine addition to their discography.

The album is just as consistent, simple and unflinching yet head bangingly enjoyable as their peers as well. The likes of the energetic “Open Casket”, rousing “Spartacus” (my personal favorite) and even the cover of I’s “The Storm I Ride” (a good cover choice I thought as an obvious Amon Amarth cover would have simply blended in) are all bolstered with a big crunchy production and simple effective growls. The only this missing is that rangy , signature, sprawling epic number (none of the songs are over 4 1/2 minutes) that fans will clamor for live.

Certainly the best of Abyss Records recent slew of death/thrash releases and a promising debut from a artist who know his influence and performs it admirably.

 

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 29th, 2011

Comments

  1. Commented by: denial

    Gaymon gaymarth,worst band ever hands down.
    And yea that new haemoth has been on sale for a month now,holding it iin my hands….


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