Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
Words by Andrew Duncan, Photos by Joe Castle
Knee deep into “Leg Five: North America” of Slayer’s Final World Tour, Amon Amarth brings their Viking metal muscle to the stage. Immersed in metal epic mythology, this Swedish band are no strangers to the Slayer camp, performing with them in the past. This time around, they support their new release, Bezerker.
25 years into their career and Bezerker is as fresh as anything they have conceived while fittingly engulfed in a time capsule of metal fury. That experience only made this Noblesville stop more poignant, lighting up the stage with the frontal half of a viking ship, the album cover larger than life, and a burley band in full form.
The songs on Bezerker are traditional Amon Amarth only with more potency. “The Berserker at Stamford Bridge” sets the stage for the construct of the album. A roaring tale of metal splendor, this Viking tragedy provides the heartbeat for the rest of the album. Like a slow burn, the band tells the story of one man who took on the English army only with a Dane Axe. He killed between 40 and 70 people before the English army killed him.
As important as this song is to the aura of the album, they chose “Raven’s Flight” to include in their setlist. For impact, this is the perfect choice. Johan Hegg bellows out fury while the band whips up a screaming soundtrack that takes on a life of its own. Breathing in influences of American metal while maintaining their Swedish identity, Amon Amarth presents a crossroads and ability to explore and expand from their musical world. The song is a monster as demonstrated throughout the album and an essential attribute to the band’s metal universe.
With a massive history, it’s difficult to compile an opening slot set list. But the band’s selection was tight. Starting with “The Pursuit of Vikings” from Fate of Norns, the band emerged with a fitting intro and metal call to arms. Add in the title track to Twilight of the Thunder Gods, and the timestamp is a proper rousing.
Much like the God of Thunder himself, “As Loke Falls,” “Raise Your Horns” (the song bellows the audience to rise up and embellish in the power of metal), and “Guardians of Asgaard” spill forth the icy bravery of these Swedish heroes.
A new album that is essential and a command performance, Amon Amarth continue to forge metal into legend.