So, once in a while, I go through my metal archives and decide to highlight a particular band or a particular album that I think stand out in the history of music, and why not say it, in the history of metal. Today I'm focusing on a very impressive band, Amon Amarth. They hail from Sweden, as so many great bands do, and despite being a hairy viking-looking bunch, their music is clearly made out of love. It took me years to get into this band, I even used to dislike them, as it happens so many times with bands I later come to love. I used to think their music wasn't for me because it didn't have that spark that sent shivers down my spine. Well, things change and so did my opinion when it came to Amon Amarth. I had a close friend who went to an Amon Amarth concert in Lisbon and that got me thinking. "Ok, he likes it, said he had the time of his life at their show, I should try them once again". And then I listened to "With Oden On Our Side", which is probably one of the most important death metal albums of all time, at least for me. But these guys don't play straightforward death metal, otherwise I probably wouldn't love them, they are the melodic kind, my kind. I love when bands go beyond the old formula and explore, which is exactly what Amon Amarth did. "With Oden On Our Side" blew me away and so I decided to listen to "Versus the World", which is a great album title by the way, and I thought that one was even better. To this day, its still my favourite Amon Amarth album, simply because every single song in it is perfect, from start to finish. Its one of the most perfect albums I've ever heard and its so smartly put together, besides the songwriting is absolutely stunning and innovative, no-one other bands sounds like Amon Amarth because they builded their own specific sound through the years and its a trademark sound by now, so no-one can touch it. The thing with Amon Amarth is that they were able to re-invent themselves and still stay true to their roots that made them so extraordinary in the first place. Sure, its the perfect soundtrack to epic movies, viking battles and wars, but its so much more than that. Their music exudes a passion I cannot find in a lot of bands, its brutal, aggressive to the bone, unstoppable, technical, intelligent and I also find progressive elements in it as well. It makes me headbang like crazy, so it means I'm having a lot of fun and want to jump around in excitement because their songs make me feel like I can be free and just enjoy the moment for once. Its extremely tasteful music, that you won't find in many more bands, certainly not in this genre. Very few can have the emotion I find in Amon Amarth, whether because they don't sound as sincere, or as commited, or simply because its not good enough. Then I listened to "Fate of Norns", the third album that stands out from me in their discography. Everyone knows "Pursuit of Vikins", their emblematic song, but this album is so much more than that, the quality is inequivocal and consistent. But what surprised me most with this album was Amon Amarth creative songwriting, they don't need to stray much to have stellar moments and they don't need a lot of musical embelishments to make their songs sound epic. So its in this simple complexity that I'm lost and found again and again. And it's so good to go back. It feels like home. I never have enough of it. And if I never have enough of it, its because it feeds something in me, something that makes me grow as an individual. Something that I feel in my skin. And its a great feeling too. I only feel it with certain bands, its some form of love I'm sure, and a connection with something on a deeper level that I can't quite put into words just yet but that I can feel. And there's also a different thing that comes into the equation, I love playing their songs on the guitar. They are so so fun to play I can't even begin to tell you why. That's part of my love for this band. And by analyzing their songs and playing them is the best way to realise their genius nature. Nothing more palpable than a song to understand the meaning of certain hidden messages the bands are sending. Just try it. Play a song you love, you'll immediately see it in a while new different way because you're touching it, as it were, you're actually touching "your" song, in that moments its yours for the taking. I love touching my songs. I do it all the time... :)
I recommend you go through all of their discography because it's certainly worth it. They have many more CDs, so just go for it.