4) “Gods of War Arise”
“Gods of War Arise” – While I love Twilight, I’m not a Twilight man. For me, the absolute pinnacle of what Amon Amarth has delivered (so far) is With Oden On Our Side. Front to back, there isn’t a single throwaway note, let alone song, on this entire record. My favorite aspects of this album have changed over time, and while “Runes To My Memory” is still my top pick (probably for AA’s entire catalog, actually), I decided to go with “Gods of War Arise” for this one. Hegg’s storytelling capability had really solidified by the time this record was written, and this song is a particularly good example of the dude delivering a narrative that isn’t just a good story, but also that totally fits the music that accompanies it. At over six minutes in length, this song would get a bit unwieldy in a live set, but, man… would it kill.
5) “Down the Slopes of Death”
One of my favorite tracks off of Versus The World, and being one of the catchiest ones on the whole disc, you’d think it would get more play in the live set. All told, Versus The World is in the running with The Crusher for my least-loved Amon Amarth record. Sure, man, there are a couple killer songs here (“Death In Fire” is fucking crucial), but on the whole, there’s a lot of dead space and a lot of retreading earlier glories. “Down The Slopes of Death” shows the band keeping the aggression of their earlier releases, while simultaneously moving towards the more cohesive songwriting that really started to shine through with their next album, Fate of Norns.
6) “Risen From the Sea”
Amon Amarth fans will know the stigma attached to this song before I even have to mention it. The lyrics, I believe, haven’t been printed in any version of The Crusher because, according to the album’s 2009 re-release, Hegg is really embarrassed by the lyrics. There are places you can find them online if you’re curious, but that’s not really why I chose this one. It’s got some of the most solid guitar work from the whole album. Very memorable riffs with stand-out hooks. And the whole structure of “Risen From The Sea” puts it on par with The Crusher’s other more developed numbers like “As Long As the Raven Flies.” Again, this is not one of my favorite Amon Amarth releases, but like everything else they’ve done, there’s plenty here to dig.