Given how awesome their recent material has been, it can be easy to forget that Swedish Viking metallers Amon Amarth have been crushing skulls and pounding mead for over two decades now. Case in point, the band’s massive album The Crusher officially turns twenty years old in 2021, earning it an even more bejeweled seat in the hall of metal legends. Now, to celebrate this momentous occasion, the band have released a re-recorded version of the track “Masters of War” — and, wouldn’t you know it, it fucking rules!
The most obvious difference listeners will notice between the 2001 and 2021 versions of “Masters of War” is the guitar tone. The original has a lot more of that sharp, European death metal vibe to its riffs, which makes sense given that Amon Amarth were really slugging it out in that scene at the time, and had yet to fully embrace their Viking identity. The new track, meanwhile, has that low-end to its central riffs and glowing-ember-shine to its solos and accents that fans today so enjoy.
Also noticeable is how much deeper and burlier frontman Johan Hegg sounds in the new version, trading his harsh snarl from 2001 for the full-throated bellow that we’ve all come to know and love. While re-recorded tracks are often just bastardizations of their originals, this one actually does an excellent job of showing off how far the band have come — and, of course, making us want to kill someone with a morningstar.
“Celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Crusher album, we felt we wanted to re-record one of the main songs from the album and put a bit of a modern Amon Amarth touch on it,” says Hegg of the new version. “Enjoy!”
Check out “Masters of War” 2021 below:
To celebrate 20 years of The Crusher, Amon Amarth are releasing a bunch of special-edition “Masters of War” merch, which is available now.
Words by Chris Krovatin