This was going to be my third time seeing Swedish Viking metal legends Amon Amarth live and I knew from the two previous shows that the crowd that had gathered for the event this night was in for a treat of total metal brutality as well as a lesson in Viking mythology and history! For this show I opted for the VIP (or as the lanyard displayed, VIV, for Very Important Viking) package that included meeting the band and a very generous autographed memorabilia package that I thought was well worth the asking price.
Knowing I was to meet the band and they are all hockey fans, I proudly wore my Amon Amarth hockey themed shirt and took the time I had while chatting with them to talk about their love of hockey, both in the European leagues as well about the current NHL playoffs with them telling me they try to catch what they can of the NHL West coast games, following their favorite countrymen after their sets when they are in the United States during hockey season. How cool is that – they were all very down to earth guys who certainly showed their appreciation for the fan support of everyone who purchased the VIP package and were genuinely enthusiastic about meeting their fans.
The band Exmortus opened the show and wow did these guys kick ass! Some very high energy in-your-face extreme metal that surely had me noting to look these guys up after the show as I was not familiar with them at all going in. This band is definitely on my radar for the next time they come around to my area. Entombed A.D. was next up and took the heaviness to the next level with their aggressive death metal sound. Also hailing from Sweden, this is the new iteration of the band Entombed, and they mixed in both new and old tunes in their set. Both of the opening bands had the crowd pumped up and ready for the headliners.
The stage setup was an appropriate giant Viking helmet and Amon Amarth took the stage to a full house and dug right into their crushing hit ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’ which sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy of horns in the air, fists pumping, heads banging and of course a circle pit opened up in the middle of the crowd. Johan just looks like a fearsome Viking as he rears his head back and screams his appreciation of the crowd’s energy that is fueling the band to just crush this song and propel them into the next one.
The band sounded amazing, the sound guys have them tuned in and dialed up just right and each member of the band literally fed off of their interaction with the crowd. They played a full 19 song set and the crowd never once stopped their energetic ways, enjoying every bone jarring song and expressing their appreciation for the gods of Viking metal. It was fascinating to watch and be part of the symbiotic relationship with both the band and the crowd feeding off of each other’s energy.
This band is simply freaking amazing to see live, they have such a stage presence and every song they played got a huge response from the crowd. This show was in support of their new release ‘Jomsviking’, which in and of itself is a fantastic CD, the tenth full length CD in their discography, where they just get better and better with each new release. For this show they played new and old material and certainly had great interaction with the crowd. If you’re not familiar with this band be sure to check out their tunes, and if you are a fan and have never seen them live, I urge you to make every effort to do so. \m/
Amon Amarth is:
Johan Hegg – vocals
Olavi Mikkonen – guitar
Ted Lundström – bass
Johan Söderberg – guitar
Jocke Wallgren – drums (touring member)