Long-running Viking inspired death metallers Amon Amarth will release The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm via Nuclear Blast this November. The band shared some of the marketing campaign for the release going live as an announcement. The DVD and Blu-Ray package will feature a full-length concert from the band’s 2017 performance at the Summer Breeze festival in Dinkelsbühl, Germany, a documentary about their history and more. The band is currently writing the follow-up to 2016’s Jomsviking (Metal Blade Records) for a possible 2019 release.Continue reading
For the record, I’m not a huge fan of the first person approach when it comes to reviews or metal writing, but as this is a personal run down, and seeing as it’s you lot, I’ll break that particular fourth wall just this once… Continue reading
Heavy music. We don’t just love it, we breathe and live it. And we want you to drink in every album that made the list of our favourite albums of 2016. Heading to the business end, to find out even more of the very best of the very best of this years’ heavy music, read on… Continue reading
Thanks to some appalling traffic, and a queue outside the venue which took nearly ninety minutes to clear, and even though I thought I’d left plenty of time to spare, I still somehow managed to miss opening act, Grand Magus. Grrrrr! Continue reading
Megadeth continues their resurgence for their current album Dystopia (Tradecraft). Bolstered by the recent addition of former Soilwork drummer Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Mustaine and company sound amazing live these days from the few times we’ve caught their act in 2016. To pull off a tour of this magnitude (small arenas) in this day an age where some bands are struggling to fill small clubs is admirable. Openers Butcher Babies and Metal Church certainly have their own crowds of fans, but the three main acts couldn’t be better or more evenly matched. Continue reading
Amon Amarth will be kicking off their U.S. tour with Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Church and Butcher Babies tomorrow night in Wyoming. To get fans more excited for the upcoming dates, they’ve teamed up with Rolling Stone to premiere the star-studded ‘Raise Your Horns’ video. Continue reading
It seems to be somewhat overlooked just how impressive Swedish death metallers Amon Amarth have grown in terms of status and position, especially for an extreme act. Somewhat under the radar for many for the early days of their career, out of nowhere 2008’s Twilight Of The Thunder God(Metal Blade) took the world by storm (pun intended) with some catchy, but still thunderous (ahem) death metal offerings. Further albums since have also seen high praise and more of the same sonically, culminating in a signing to a major label in Sony for European releases (still Metal Blade for North America). This is a death metal band we are talking about, this is huge news.
As a result of major label signing you could be forgiven for thinking the band may water down, but instead Jomsviking(Metal Blade/Sony) is in some ways, the band’s boldest album to date. Unsurprisingly Jomsviking goes down the Viking route again, but for the first time in the band’s career, this has a full conceptual narrative; that of a young man joining the elite Jomsviking after being separated from the love of his life, a befittingly tragic tale which invokes the ferocity of both its historical context, and of Amon Amarth’s music.
Musically the band have never been ones to deviate massively from their formula other than some examples of fine tuning or refining, and much is the same here. A mantra which did no harm for the likes of Motorhead and AC/DC and has certainly not done so for Amon Amarth. Thus, Jomsviking doesn’t throw any new surprises our way, other than some of the band’s finest and most instant songs to date. The white hot fury of ‘First Kill’ proves a suitably morbid and striking opener, whilst ‘Raise Your Horns’ is surely the most archetypal anthem the band has written thus far. Vocalist Johann Hegg may not have the most diverse of vocals but he pulls off individuality of differing characters with ease, whilst the addition of the legendary Doro Pesch on ‘A Dream That Cannot Be’ adds an extra dimension that could bolster the band further if explored further.
Amon Amarth are never going to make a Jazz fusion record or hugely surprise us; but what they do offer however is continuous refinement and subtle evolution, and Jomsviking is further evidence that Amon Amarth are still a huge and creative entity. The boldness of an in depth and intricate storyline intertwined with some of their strongest and catchiest songs to date, and you have perhaps the best album of their career.
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