Posts Tagged ‘Viking metal’

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Photos by Greg Maki (more…)

Ted Lundström of Amon Amarth

After touring the world this past year in support of their new album, Jomsviking (Live Metal #8 Album of 2016), Amon Amarth will head back out on the road this spring for a USA tour with Goatwhore! Starting April 30th, the trek also features select appearances by Amon Amarth at some of the nation’s premier music festivals: “Welcome to Rockville”, “Carolina Rebellion”, “Dark Lord Day”, “Northern Invasion”, and “Rock on the Range”. (more…)

Finnish battle metallers Turisas will return to North America this spring with co-headliners (and fellow Finns) Korpiklaani for the fifth installment of the Paganfest America Tour! Some of the finest names in pagan metal, Chthonic (Taiwan), Varg (Germany) and Winterhymn (USA), will also be joining the two titans on the road for this year’s crusade. See inside for all confirmed dates. (more…)

Johan Hegg of Amon of Amarth

Johan Hegg of Amon of Amarth

LIVE PHOTOS: Amon Amarth, Enslaved, Skeletonwitch
By Jeff Maki
As we started our 2014 live tour, there was no better way than to raise the black flags and set sail with Swedish Viking metal Gods Amon Amarth in Silver Spring, Md. The band has remained a constant in extreme metal,  churning out solid melodeath albums roughly every other year (Oden on Our Side, 2006; Twilight of the Thunder God, 2008; Surtur Rising, 2011; Deceiver of the Gods, 2013). While some purists and diehards may claim Amon Amarth’s style has become more of a shtick–especially over the past few years—ask fans of Motorhead if they’re tired of that band’s shtick. I, however, tend to agree, as many songs, melodies and entire parts of recent albums seem almost interchangeable. Yet in the end, I don’t really care. Fans apparently don’t either. Coming off of the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and with the release of Deceiver of the Gods, you could make a strong argument that Amon Amarth was one of the breakthrough metal acts of 2013 and recently has reached the peak of its popularity. (more…)

Unleashed: "The Vikings' Journey"

Unleashed: “The Vikings’ Journey”

Way back in 1989, the now classic and influential subgenre of Swedish death metal was taking shape.
 A band called Nihilist spawned two great, long-running acts: the mighty Entombed and the pioneering Viking metal band Unleashed. Credited as the first of its kind, Unleashed looked to its forefathers for tradition and values, using Viking mythology in its lyrics, single-handedly creating another subgenre that is relevant today. More than 20 years later, Unleashed has released its 11th studio album, Odalheim, the successor to As Yggdrasil Trembles (2010). Long story short—the world came to an end with Yggdrasil, and the warriors that survived battle to build a new one on Odalheim.

Yes, this band is about as close as you can get to living, breathing, ax-wielding Vikings. So how did Unleashed start what all of us diehard metalheads know as Viking metal? Is it in their bloodlines? Did it just sound like a good idea? Well, we went all Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey in an interview with drummer Anders Schultz, looking to discover the origins of the subgenre and how it came to be … (more…)

Amon Amarth & The Quest for Fire

Amon Amarth & The Quest for Fire

“Surtur rules the flame land of Muspelheim, a realm of fire. This realm is one of the Nine Worlds unified by the world tree, Yggdrasill, and it is home to the Fire Demons, or the Sons of Muspell.

“An ancient prophecy written by Snorri Sturluson in the first book of Prose Edda named Gylfaginning, tells of Ragnarök, a series of events signaling the end of the world. Surtur will ultimately set the world afire with his flaming sword.

“The prophecy reads:

“‘In the midst of this clash and din the heavens are rent in twain, and the sons of Muspel come riding through the opening. Surtur rides first, and before him and after him flames burning fire. He has a very good sword, which shines brighter than the sun.'”

LIVE METAL’s Jeff Maki recently spoke to guitarist Johan Söderberg, answering questions about the legend behind the band’s new album, Surtur Rising, along with the many other stories of Amon Amarth’s to share. (more…)

unleashed-yggdrasilSomething happens when a band signs with Nuclear Blast Records, one of the leading heavy metal record labels worldwide. It’s simple; they just get better. The label has a way of extracting the very best out of its bands, especially lately. Almost every album the label has released recently has been above and beyond expectations.

So when Swedish Viking metal band Unleashed signed and initially sat down with the label’s executives for the first time, the one-sided conversation probably went something like this: (more…)

ensiferumWho doesn’t like Vikings? I mean, they were known to pillage and steal, they wore cool helmets and furs and beards and had names like Erik the Red. Next to being named Mack Strong or Jack Slaughter, how awesome is it to have “the” in your name?

It may be 1000 years too late, but Vikings finally have their own heavy metal genre. Actually, the subgenre of Viking metal started in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s and gained more and more of a following over the years. This subgenre is distinguishable by several factors. First, the band is from Scandinavia. It is the home of the Vikings, after all. In addition, the band must include one orchestral instrumental, have lyrics about conquering Norsemen, have some sort of choir-like part and play a fast-paced version of power metal. Victory Songs (it just sounds Viking when you think about it), the new album from Finnish metal band Ensiferum, does all that and then some. (more…)


OK, I’m not going to completely turn this into a corny pirate review, but I couldn’t resist.

Pirate metal? What will they come up with next? In this day and age, a gimmick, theme or any other such trick that your band can do will only help you in the short term. If your band can do gymnastics, heck, go for it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m getting tired of seeing bands in jeans and T-shirts onstage, jumping around like wounded ducks. I’m all about showmanship, theatrics and great music. With all this stowed away in the cargo hold of its vessel, it seems that under black sail, Swashbuckle has arrived to pillage and plunder clubs (and Red Lobsters, according to the band bio) across U.S shores. (more…)

ex-deo“The Roman Empire will rise again … and with the blood of our enemies, we shall paint the walls of Rome”—that’s the tagline for Romulus, the debut album by Ex Deo, a new death metal metal band conceived by Kataklysm frontman Maurizio Iacono. “Battle metal,” anyone?

Completing the band are his Kataklysm bandmates, guitarist J-F Dagenais, bassist Stephane Barbe and drummer Max Duhamel, along with Francois Mongrain (Martyr) and Jonathan Leduc (Blackguard). Also guesting on Romulus are Nile’s Karl Sanders, Behemoth vocalist Nergal and Obsidian C. of Keeps of Kalessin. (more…)

amon-amarth-twilightWhen Unleashed proclaimed that “The Longships are Coming” who knew they had foreseen a future of battle metal warriors, paying tribute to the ancient gods, otherwise known as Viking metal. Who better to wield the bloody battle axe and wave the victory flags than Sweden’s Amon Amarth, leading a musical movement they helped to forge and create.

Twilight of the Thunder God has all of what you’d expect of Amon Amarth. (more…)