SWEDEN’S Amon Amarth are – as sensible fans know by now – playing the Spring & Airbrake on 23th October. The Distortion Project have confirmed Swedish death ‘n’ roll veterans Entombed and Brit retro thrashers Evile as support.
And if that isn’t enough for a pre-Hallowe’en knees up we don’t know what is!
Amon Amarth have been a band that displayed the patience of the proverbial saint to rise from relative obscurity and twitterings in specialist mags to the front page of Metal Hamster as acclaimed leaders of the New Wave of Traditional Metal (whatever the hell that is!).
Johan Hegg’s towering presence fronts a band that appears immersed in Nordic paganism, but read deeper and the allegorical nature of the lyrics from the atheist frontman are intriguing.
Having dabbled with the occasional offering from Amon Amarth for some time ‘With Oden on Our Side’ was a revelation. ‘Runes to My Memory’, ‘Cry of the Blackbird’ and ‘Prediction of Warfare’ were among the tracks that showed a clear evolution of their style and songwriting form.
But last year ‘Twilight of the Thunder God’ was unleashed. It was rated on this site as one of the top CDs of 2008, with due cause. The strident title track will, undoubtedly, prove immensely popular, the rest of the platter pounds. ‘Guardians of Asgard’ has a riff to accompany the conquering of nations. ‘The Hero’ has a unique lyrical take on what makes a warrior, while closer ‘Embrace of the Endless Ocean’ has a concept that many a prog act would die for…slave freed from toil at the oars dies happily at sea rowing!
Amon Amarth may not be one of the most important metal bands of the decade, but they are pushing the envelope and will help shape the Swedish ‘death’ scene and beyond for years to come. Respect not only to the band but to the Metal Blade label for keeping the faith and allowing Amon Amarth to grow into potential world conquerors.
Entombed have been knocking about for years (20+!). The Swedish act started off as a straight death metal, but evolved through the course of nine studio albums to their present domination of death ‘n’ roll – which even has its own Wikipedia entry as a genre!
Evile are the snotty nosed bastard son of 80s thrash, with a lot more credibility that some of the US bands knocking about. While many will have stumbled across Evile via sampler CDs from magazines, their Earache release, ‘Enter The Grave’ is worth checking out. While lyrically it can be a wee bit embarrassing at times, and the Slayer references are a little too far forward, Evile can, with a fair wind and plenty of live experience be at the forefront of reinvigorating thrash.
Tickets for this October extravaganza are now available from the usual outlets…neck braces and liver transplants are not covered in the ticket prices and good luck trying to persuade BUPA to cover the costs of excessive metal fun after the 23rd!