When a band is the most prolific in the world to play a particular type of music, the temptation often exists to rest on one’s laurels, release sub-standard material, and generally show disregard for previous success in favor of basking in the sunshine of success. This usually leads to the swift downward spiral and implosion of that band. The only way to avoid that is to do what Swedish titans Amon Amarth have done: never release anything that is less than excellent, always try to be better than your previous material, and never stop to admire past successes.
Double-decade Swedish vikings surf their ninth LP on Metal Blade into trademark waters with tales of Odin and the "Destroyer of the Universe," Surtur ("I am pure and endless pain"). Full of old-school gallop and intelligible vox, the Digipak configuration bonuses a DVD plundering three unflagging hours of live footage from Germany, a run of nights covering peak LPs The Avenger (1999), The Crusher (2001), and Versus the World (2002). .