Photo: press photo via Andrew J Brady Music Center
Have you ever wanted to go to a metal show but would prefer if the mosh pit was filled with a bunch of sweaty people pretending to row a boat instead of pushing one another?
Then Amon Amarth is about to make your (very specific) dream come true.
The Swedish band has been peddling their driving and energetic brand of Viking-themed metal since 1992 and are touring on the back of their latest release, 2022’s The Great Heathen Army. While the album provides the thunderous drums, anthemic guitar gallops and aggressive calls to battle that fans have loved for decades, this album shows the band’s recent focus on varying both their sound and inspiration.
The quintet isn’t abandoning the Viking war stories and Norse mythology that put them on the map, but the way they tell the stories has expanded. Interspersed within the tried-and-true Amon Amarth stylings are songs like “Heidrun,” a celebration of the goat who stood on the roof of Valhalla and provided fallen warriors with mead. The track, “Saxons and Vikings,” features guest vocals from Biff Byford of – you guessed it – the band Saxon to spotlight a verbal sparring match between not only Byford and Amon Amarth’s vocalist Johan Hegg, but also Viking and Saxon warriors during the 865 Viking invasion of England.
Amon Amarth complement their grandiose and powerful music with live shows to match. The bombastic nature of the music is complemented by intense stage designs, often including a life-size Viking longboat, to prove just how much they love their chosen subject. And yes, their crowds have been known to sit down and feign rowing in the middle of a mosh pit and are more than happy to welcome others into the war party.
Amon Amarth performs at the Andrew J Brady Music Center on Nov. 27. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the show begins at 6:30 p.m. Carcass, Obituary and Cattle Decapitation open the show. Info: bradymusiccenter.com.