|Genre(s)||Melodic death metal|
|Associated Acts||Eternal Oath, This Ending|
Amon Amarth is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Tumba, Sweden founded in 1991, and takes its name from the Sindarin translation of Mount Doom, a location in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. The band comprises vocalist Johan Hegg, guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg, bassist Ted Lundström and drummer Fredrik Andersson. Amon Amarth has released eight studio albums, one EP, one DVD, and seven music videos.
Formed in 1991. as Scum by Paul "Themgoroth" Mäkitalo (Dark Funeral) on vocals, Olavi Mikkonen on guitar, Nico Mehra on drums and Vesa Meriläinen guitar, the band originally played grindcore based on "jagged riffs, dark atmospheres, untethered vitriol and copious amounts of mead". Scum made no impression upon the burgeoning Stockholm metal scene, but then Johan Hegg came in: it was his "imposing stature [and] [God]-like growl" that were beginning to shape the image and the sound of the band which now started to incorporate Viking-related themes.
After a 1991 demo (credited to Scum) the band changed their name to Amon Amarth in 1992 and recorded their first demo Thor Arise (1993). Raw and uneven in sound and execution , it was never officially released due to low quality standards but the band caught the attention of extreme metal fans with its own "infectious brand of epic-sounding brutality and unadorned conviction". In 1994 another demo entitled The Arrival of the Fimbul Winter was recorded; this time 1,000 copies were indeed issued. In 1996, they signed with Pulverised Records, on which they released their first MCD, Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds, which sold 6000 copies. They then signed with Metal Blade Records which released the debut album Once Sent from the Golden Hall. Described as "a compelling fusion of buzzsaw riff work, melodic harmonies and soul-crushing rhythms punctuated by Hegg’s callous black/death roar and accounts of Norse battles and treachery" it made sure Amon Amarth' popularity rose internationally. According to Allmusic, the song that bore the group's namesake was the most memorable, containing "the chaotic noises of battle, the screams of the dying, and much sword-clashing to boot." Since then they have done multiple Canada and US tours, festival appearances, seven music videos, and appearances in over 100 metal magazines.
In June 1998, as the band was about to commence a tour alongside Deicide, Six Feet Under and Brutal Truth, guitarist Anders Hansson left and was replaced by Johan Soderberg. After the tour Martin Lopez quit to join Opeth and Fredrik Andersson (ex-A Canorous Quintet) came in. With him in Spring 1999 the band recorded and released their second full-length, The Avenger. The release was supported by the X-Mas Massacre Festivals Tour with Morbid Angel headlining.
The Crusher album released in 2001 was considered to be their most aggressive. In support of it the band went on tour with Marduk and Vader, taking part in No Mercy Festival. Their first American tour in autumn 2001 though had to be cancelled (due to the September 11 attack) and and was held later, in January 2002, without Marduk, Amon Amarth headlining. In April 2002 the band toured Europe with Vomitory and in August performed at Wacken Open Air before 12.000 metal fans. In Berno Studio in Malmo Versus the World was recorded and came out, The Viking Edition comprising a bonus CD which included demos Thor Arise and Arrival Of The Fimbul Winter. Touring continued up until Spring 2004 when the band started working on Fate of Norns album which was released on September 6, 2004. The follow-up, With Oden on Our Side (2006), has shown (according to AllMusic) that "Amon Amarth continue to be champions of the worldwide death metal tournament" and rose to #26 in the US Top Independent album charts. The album's material though was not included in the DVD Wrath Of The Norsemen (the song of the same title would be found in the 2011 album) which was released in May 2006, having turned gold in US (platinum - in Canada) ever since.
Amon Amarth extended their record deal with Metal Blade Records for three more albums. After extending their record deal, the band released Twilight of the Thunder God, which featured guest appearances by Lars Göran Petrov of Entombed, Roope Latvala of Children of Bodom, and the cello metal band Apocalyptica. Accompanying the release of the album was an eight-page comic strip based on Norse mythology which was released by magazines in Europe. Twilight of the Thunder God which is considered their breakthrough album, #6 in Germany, #10 in Finland, #11 in Sweden, #14 in Austria, #21 in Switzerland. It ended up at the #7 position in Revolver Magazine’s Top 20 Albums that year. Amon Amarth embarked on a North American headlining tour in October 2008, with support from Ensiferum, Belphegor, and The Absence. In 2009 the band returned to the States for another successful series of dates with Goatwhore, Skeleton Witch and Lazarus AD and later in 2010 with Holy Grail and Eluveitie. In between, Amon Amarth were named Best Breakthrough Act at Metal Hammer’s prestigious Golden Gods Awards. The band also supported Slayer in their Unholy Alliance Chapter III European tour. Amon Amarth played their first show in India, headlining the Deccan Rock Festival in Bangalore on 5 December 2009.
On November 30, 2010, Amon Amarth confirmed their next album entitled Surtur Rising will be released in Spring 2011. The drums have been recorded at Park Studios, while bass and guitars have been recorded at Fascination Street Studios. According to the band's website, a release date has been set for March 29 in the U.S. They will also be embarking on a 4 month world tour with Children Of Bodom and Ensiferum, among others in March - June 2011.
Amon Amarth also appeared in the movie Rap Sucks which was released in 2011.
They have been confirmed to perform at Wacken Open Air 2012, Hellfest 2013, Download Festival 2013 and Mayhem Festival 2013.
The band has also finished writing their ninth studio album, the as yet untitled follow-up to 2011's Surtur Rising and have entered the studio to record it, aiming for a June release. On April 12th the band, via Reddit.com/r/Metal have released the album artwork and name of the album, Deceiver of the Gods.
- Once Sent from the Golden Hall (1998)
- The Avenger (1999)
- The Crusher (2001)
- Versus the World (2002)
- Fate of Norns (2004)
- With Oden on Our Side (2006)
- Twilight of the Thunder God (2008)
- Surtur Rising (2011)
- Deceiver of the Gods (2013)