Amon AmarthThe Crusher (Reissue)
Rating: 4.0/5.0 (Record) – 3.0/5.0 (Reissue) 4.5/5.0 (Live Record)
Label: Metal Blade (EU | USA)
Website(s): myspace.com/amonamarth | amonamarth.com
Release Date(s): USA: 09.01.2009 | EU: 28.08.2009

Amon Amarth - The CrusherAmon Amarth is on top of the fucking world right now.  The Thor’s Hammer is the new pentagram and every kid is hailing Odin because they think that’s way cooler than Satan now, plus Satan is so shocking and evil.  Odin was just bad ass.. but I digress.  On the heels of Twilight of the Thunder God selling like mythical “hot cakes” Metal Blade has decided that maybe, just maybe, kids should be buying Amon Amarth‘s older, less well-funded albums.  Hence, a reissue of The Crusher.

The Crusher holds a very special place in my heart.  While not the first Amon Amarth I ever heard, it was the first tour I ever saw them on.  On the mythical tour where Marduk wasn’t able to make it into the country, so Amon Amarth who didn’t have nearly the draw power of Marduk at the time was forced to headline their very first tour in the US.  Wow, poor guys.  Anyway, this album is a powerhouse of a record.  Starting from the amazing “Bastards of a Lying Breed” this signature Amon Amarth pounds its way out the door and it really never ceases to kick ass.  “Masters of War,” “Sounds of Eight Hooves,” “The Fall through Ginnungigap,” all of these songs totally rock.

Well, to use a phrase that was probably overused at the time, The Crusher crushes.  It’s a really solid album, and while it doesn’t have the same kind of production that the later albums have, it has an energy and novelty that Twilight of the Thunder God lacks.  While not my favorite of the Amon Amarth records, it still is a very, very good album and if you don’t own it, I strongly suggest getting it.

However, whether or not you should buy the reissue is up in the air.  It does, in fact, include a cover of the track “The Eyes of Horror” by Possessed and it has a live album of the band performing the whole album live (called Live in Bochum 30/12/08). Also, apparently this record was re-mastered.  I cannot tell.  The only thing that I can hear in sound quality difference is that amonamarth_1153383343Johan’s vocals seem more forward in the mix.  Other than that it sounds almost exactly the same.  The issue with the recording here was not that it wasn’t as good as it got at the time, it’s that you can’t polish up something that was as good as was coming out of that studio with that equipment and that amount of time.  Really, it’s tough to tell the difference.  However, the sad thing here, is that the production on the live record is better than the original production!  Johan sounds way better and I think it just shows how far recording has come since these guys went into the studio and what a great live band these guys are.

A final word, apparently this record comes with a huge booklet and a digipack version.  Cool.  But I sometimes feel like these things are a bit of a rip off.  If you already own the album, you probably should save your money for the new MÃ¥negarm record that’s coming out or something.  Buying a hardly re-mastered version of a record you already own just for a live disc of all the exact same tracks is probably not worth your time and money.  However, if you do not own this album, then I suggest you run out and buy it!  Treat yourself, get a cool cover and a live record and bask in what everyone knew was cool before you did.

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