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Vor achtzehn Jahren haben sich rund um Sänger Johan Hegg und Bassist Ted Lundström die schwedischen Death- Metaller von Amon
Amarth (dt. Schicksalsberg) gegründet.
Heavy metal is a way of life, but it is not for the faint of heart. The history of metal is strewn with fading memories of
bands that fell apart when times were tough. But history is written by the victors, and Amon Amarth have been marching purposefully
from triumph to greater triumph for the last two decades. Formed amid the fertile Swedish metal scene in the mid 90s,
these dedicated diehards brought a new sense of drama and destruction to the world of heavy music, propagating tales of Viking
mythology and mortal combat over a devastating soundtrack of crushing rhythms, refined melody and rousing, rebellious refrains.
From the release of their debut album Once Sent From The Golden Hall in 1998, Amon Amarths trajectory was firmly upward,
as this bands devotion to touring the world and spreading their inspirational creed began to resonate with ever-growing
hordes of like-minded metalheads, first across Europe and then, in true Viking style, across the Atlantic and into North America.
With each successive album, Amon Amarths reputation grew; their arsenal of heroic hymns gaining strength and depth at
the same time. Perhaps the most significant breakthrough came with cast-iron classic Twilight Of The Thunder God in 2008,
wherein the band vocalist Johan Hegg, guitarists Olavi Mikkonen Johan Söderberg, then drummer Fredrik Andersson and
bassist Ted Lundström - seemed to perfect their formula of pulverising, fists-in-the-air anthems and shift into a higher creative
gear. The impact was immediate and vast, and since that moment they have been unstoppable, as Surtur Rising (2011) and, most
recently, Deceiver Of The Gods (2013) consolidated that success and took Amon Amarths explosive and exhilarating live
show around the world many more times, and in front of ever-multiplying audiences.
Once again waking from their post-victory slumber, Amon Amarth are due to return with their most monstrous and spectacular
album to date. A tour-de-force of cinematic melodic metal that combines the best of the genres traditional wing with
modern heft and heart, Jomsviking is a concept piece inspired by the elite Viking mercenaries of its title, conceived and
written by Johan Hegg and brought to life by the band which for the recording sees drummer Tobias Gustafsson [ex-Vomitory]
slotting in neatly as a special guest session drummer.
Deceiver Of The Gods was very successful for us and we had a good run with that and did some really great tours,
says Hegg. Even before we changed drummers for this record we had the idea to make a concept album. It was something
wed never done before and it gave us a challenge. I started writing the story, went into it wholeheartedly and once
you start going down that path theres really no turning back.
By far their most ambitious project to date, Amon Amarths tenth album unfolds like a synapse-melting multi-dimensional
epic, with countless moments of classic metal grandeur and deathly aggression but also a newfound mastery of atmosphere and
evocative dynamics that perfectly compliment the highs, lows and furious battles of Heggs narrative.
Its a pretty simple story where a young man is in love with a girl but unfortunately shes being married
off. He accidentally kills a man when this happens and he has to flee, the frontman explains. But he swears to
have revenge and win her back. He cant let go of the past. He feels that hes been wronged and his life has been
destroyed. The story of the Jomsviking is the background - its the way he finds to go back and claim his revenge. The
way the story evolves is not a happy story
its a tragedy, I guess! But I like sad endings, because theyre
the ones that affect you the most.
Veering from the thunderous attack of opening statement First Kill to the victorious heavy metal sing-along of Raise Your
Horns and on to the brooding drama of the closing Back On Northern Shores, Jomsviking sounds colossal thanks, once
again, to the supreme talents of producer Andy Sneap and confirms that Amon Amarth are bigger, bolder and better than
ever before in 2016. Neither deviating from their trademark sound nor restricted by it, they have simply evolved to the next
level of metallic might, broadening their sonic horizons while simultaneously glorying in their cherished metal influences.
When you write an album like this one, youre basically making music for a movie, says Mikkonen. You
have to follow certain moods and we had to figure out where we needed the aggressive songs or the more mellow or sad moments,
and then we had to find the right ideas for that. It was difficult and it was challenging, but it was more fun! Before we
were writing typical Amon Amarth songs, but this time we felt like we had to write something different. After ten albums you
really need a challenge. We rose to the challenge and were really proud of what weve created.
Bolstered by the regal presence of legendary heavy metal vocalist Doro Pesch, who duets with Johan Hegg on the heart-rending
squall of A Dream That Cannot Be, Jomsviking flies the flag for authentic, red-blooded and unapologetic heavy metal while
skillfully tapping into metalheads unerring love for epic tales of heroism, struggle, love, death and glory. Plainly
the finest record of their career to date, Amon Amarths tenth album is certain to thrill and delight their global fanbase
while the irresistible allure of Jomsvikings cinematic heart will surely draw many more people into this bands
extraordinary sonic world. This campaign will not be stopped: 2016 will be the year that Amon Amarth conquer the world like
We just want to be more, Mikkonen concludes. Bigger shows, more production, everything bigger and better.
Im pretty sure its gonna be that way too. Theres a very good vibe in the band and I think its gonna
be one hell of a year.
The shows are always absolutely fantastic, Hegg enthuses. When youre onstage, performing, whether
its a festival or a club, and you have that connection with people and you feel that reaction to all the hard work youve
put in, thats when you know that all the hardships youve experienced over the years were worth it. We are still
growing. We grew with each album and we were never a trend. Weve never followed trends and no trend has ever followed
us. Were on our own. We do what we love. There are so many shows planned in 2016 that its almost insane, but thats
what we live for.