Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm

It’s hard to believe that Amon Amarth has been a band for over twenty-five years. The incredible arc of their journey from a suburban bunch of guys from nearby Stockholm, Sweden with a dream to world dominating metal force majeure is nothing short of astounding. As much as I have followed their career as closely as possible, there were definite gaps in my knowledge. In the incredible new documentary/concert film Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm(Metal Blade) certainly illuminates the backstory of one of the greatest modern metal bands today. It definitely didn’t happen overnight and there were many missteps that could have ensured they never succeeded. However, the Amon Amarth story is about perseverance and the strength to achieve what your mind desires.

 

The documentary is tremendous and is inter-cut with some of the best bits from the two full performances from Summer Breeze Festival 2017. Telling the entire history of the band, this is essential viewing for die-hard fans, They definitely criticize themselves for some of the mistakes of youth and blunders when it came to their early career. They definitely took those in stride and overcame adversity. The pairing of Amon Amarth and Metal Blade is certainly one of synchronicity: few bands and labels could fare so well together as partners in the last generation of metal as these two have. This has been integral to their success. I definitely learned a lot about the band, and they are lot more thoughtful and complex artists than I had even imagined before. Perhaps least appreciated about the band is how rebellious and against the grain they were for focusing on Norse religion and lore for their themes, at a time when is was considered reactionary and had all kinds of negative connotations at the time. They risked being shunned at home as well as the Death Metal and Black metal scenes in Europe. The band themselves feared begin labeled right-wing, or worse, racists. That came to pass and the band ushered in a new era of Norse inspired metal along with a few other bands from the scene. Other highlights of the film are the band reflecting on different highlights of their career, focuses on fans from all walks of life, and the hilarious origin of the “Viking row” by their fans which originated at Bloodstock Open Air.

The concerts are amazing. A pro-shot, multi-camera affair that is not to too quick on the cuts and edits, which I appreciate. You get the full flavor of a real Amon Amarth show from the famous longship, to the strobe lights, smoke, fire and more. The band themselves sound and look great, tearing through two distinctly different shows at Summer Breeze fest. You can watch these all together or one at a time, separately.

The band, along with producer Alexander Milas of Twin V Ltd. and director Phil Wallis definitely took an overt warts and all approach, which is refreshing. At four and a half hour plus, the footage is exhaustive and the quality gives you your money’s’ worth. There is no pretense about the band whatsoever. The depth and care taken with their history, the quality of interviews conducted, along with the brilliance of the concert portions make this must buy material for fans and newbies alike.

8/10

KEITH CHACHKES

For a preview and to purchase of The Pursuit Of Vikings, a live video of “Twilight of the Thunder God” can be viewed now at: https://amonamarth.lnk.to/pursuitofvikings

CD track-listing (Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017):

1. The Pursuit of Vikings

2. As Loke Falls

3. First Kill

4. The Way of Vikings

5. At Dawn’s First Light

6. Cry of the Black Birds

7. Deceiver of the Gods

8. Destroyer of the Universe

9. Death in Fire

10. Father of the Wolf

11. Runes to My Memory

12. War of the Gods

13. Raise Your Horns

14. A Dream That Cannot Be

15. Guardians of Asgaard

16. Twilight of the Thunder God

DVD Digipak and Blu-ray track-listings:

–Documentary

–T-Stage Show: August 16th, 2017

1. Twilight of the Thunder God

2. Free Will Sacrifice

3. With Oden on Our Side

4. The Last with Pagan Blood

5. For the Stabwounds in Our Backs

6. Thousand Years of Oppression

7. Gods of War Arise

8. Versus the World

9. Asator

10. Under the Northern Star

11. Fate of Norns

12. Varyags of Miklagaard

13. Live for the Kill

14. Victorious March

–Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017

1. The Pursuit of Vikings

2. As Loke Falls

3. First Kill

4. The Way of Vikings

5. At Dawn’s First Light

6. Cry of the Black Birds

7. Deceiver of the Gods

8. Destroyer of the Universe

9. Death in Fire

10. Father of the Wolf

11. Runes to My Memory

12. War of the Gods

13. Raise Your Horns

14. A Dream That Cannot Be

15. Guardians of Asgaard

16. Twilight of the Thunder God

**Note: special edition hardcover book contains all of the above, plus audio from T-Stage Show: August 16th, 2017**

Vinyl track-listing (Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017):

SIDE A

1. The Pursuit of Vikings

2. As Loke Falls

3. First Kill

4. The Way of Vikings

SIDE B

5. At Dawn’s First Light

6. Cry of the Black Birds

7. Deceiver of the Gods

8. Destroyer of the Universe

9. Death in Fire

SIDE C

10. Father of the Wolf

11. Runes to My Memory

12. War of the Gods

13. Raise Your Horns

SIDE D

14. A Dream That Cannot Be

15. Guardians of Asgaard

16. Twilight of the Thunder God

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com

http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth

http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

https://www.instagram.com/amonamarth

https://youtube.com/AmonAmarthOfficial

http://giphy.com/amonamarth