Saturday, October 18, 2014

Amon Amarth at the Best Buy Theater

Johan Hegg
Amon Amarth is a melodic death metal band from Tumba, Sweden, founded in 1992. The band took its name from a volcano in J. R. R. Tolkien′s science fiction novels. Amon Amarth's lyrics largely re-imagine Norse mythology and history, resulting in the band often being branded as playing "Viking metal." The ensemble comprises vocalist Johan Hegg, guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg, bassist Ted Lundström and drummer Fredrik Andersson. Amon Amarth has released nine studio albums; the most recent, Deceiver of the Gods, was released in June 2013.

Headlining the Best Buy Theater tonight on the Deceiver of the Gods tour, Amon Amarth's stage set included the prow of a Viking longship, complete with smoking dragon head and beaming red eyes, jutting from center stage. The backdrop, a scale drawing of the band's most recent album cover, depicted Ragnarök, the last battle between the Æsir gods and Loki, accompanied by the army of the dead. Amid flashing lights, fog, and cheers, Amon Amarth took the stage and opened with "War of the Gods" from the 2011 Surtur Rising album. Johan Hegg, the band's large, long-haired, log-bearded bellower, was an imposing, hulking front man. By the end of the second song, "Runes to My Memory" from an earlier album, Hegg was singing from inside the bow of the ship as the colored lights on the fog added a mysterious flavor. Throughout the set, Amon Amarth played a haze of epic-sounding thrash aggression with decimating force, while songs were held together with melodic guitar leads, contrasting Hegg's growling roar. After 22 years as a band, Amon Amarth still delivered crushingly brutal metallic fury.

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