Since their humble start in 1992 as an underground band from Tumba, a suburb in southern Stockholm, AMON AMARTH have managed to establish themselves as one of Europe’s top death metal acts through hard work, relentless touring, and consistently solid albums. What has set AMON AMARTH apart from the rest of the death metal scene since the very beginning, is their use of Viking mythology and imagery in lyrics and artwork, as well as a talent for writing epic, memorable melodies, which underline their solemn yet barbaric approach to heavy music.
The band went through the usual demo recordings and line-up changes in the beginning stages, but soon made its first mark with the MCD “Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds”. A one-off affair with (of all places) Singapore’s Pulverized Records, this MCD did not only plant AMON AMARTH’s flag in the underground metal landscape, but also gained the band a multi-album deal with the renowned Metal Blade Records.
Fate of Norns
“Once Sent From The Golden Hall”, the group’s Metal Blade debut, was released in 1998, and saw the band touring with such genre greats as Deicide, Six Feet Under, and Brutal Truth. The same year, drummer Martin Lopez left the band to pursue a career with Opeth, being replaced by Fredrik Andersson (previously in A Canorous Quintet). This would be the last line-up change in the band’s career. With a steady formation and an admirable work ethic, AMON AMARTH went on to record and release the albums “The Avenger” (1999) and “The Crusher” (2001) within a time period of two years, touring the European continent extensively in support of these releases. Sharing the stage with the likes of Morbid Angel, Marduk, and Vader, and touring the US for the first time in 2002, the band developed their live act into an unstoppable force, which by now has become one of the pillars of their ever-growing popularity.
Death In Fire
In 2002, the band went into Berno Studios to record “Versus The World”, an album where all the elements that comprise the band’s style, sound, and essence fell right into place. AMON AMARTH toured incessantly to promote this album (3 American and 2 European tours, no less), the press woke up to their qualities, and legions of followers put the band on one level with those acts who had dominated the scene for years on end. This set the stage for “Fate Of Norns”, AMON AMARTH’s breakthrough album and highest charting release to date. Once again recorded at Berno Studios, “Fate Of Norns” saw the band touring Europe and America to ecstatic response from their fans, as well as conquering several new territories, such as Iceland, Mexico, Ireland, Poland, Croatia, and Norway. One of the highlights of the “Fate” touring cycle was undoubtedly when over 30,000 rabid fans gathered in front of the stage at 2AM to celebrate their heroes at Wacken Open Air 2004.
Runes To My Memory
As a tribute to their loyal following, the band released a 3 DVD set entitled “Wrath Of The Norsemen”, comprised of five full shows, in May 2005. With no less than six weeks in the German Music DVD Charts as we speak, the momentum gathered by the band by now is one that marketing strategists and industry people would kill to be able to reproduce. Talent, perseverance, and hard work do pay off after all. Which brings us to “With Oden On Our Side”…
Gods Of War Arise
In January 2006, the band started writing the follow-up to “Fate Of Norns”. Being able for the first time to concentrate 100% on the music, the sessions proved fruitful, as guitarist Olavi Mikkonen confirms: “We nailed down all ideas we had from the past year and we rehearsed 5 days a week, 9 to 5. At the end of the month we had finished a 5 song demo.” After a two-month break, the band returned to write the rest of the material: “We started up where we had left off and began working on all new ideas we had. Again 5 days a week, 9 to 5. This time around we had 4 new songs and the album was written. We had never written an album under these intense circumstances, but we found out that this was totally right for us.” The new masterpiece “With Oden On Our Side” was born.
Cry Of The Blackbirds
As if the norse deity had cast a blessing on AMON AMARTH, the band has emerged with an album that will define a “before” and “after” in their career for years to come. Recorded at Fascination Street Studios with producer Jens Bogren, the majestic riffs, thunderous drums and roaring vocals have never sounded better and more convincing. A match surely made in Valhalla, Mikkonen comments on the collaboration as follows: “We had never worked with a producer before the way it should be done. Jens Bogren took the band to a new level, both production- and sound-wise. Musically, this album is more worked through and, most important of all, we wrote it together as a unit.” A most fearsome and deadly unit, that is now gearing up to crush audiences the world over once again!
Valhall Awaits Me
Pursuit of Vikings