Amon Amarth’s Jomsviking

So happy with my brand new vinyl! My sweet boyfriend bought me the album Jomsviking by Amon Amarth. How cool is that!

The first time I saw Amon Amarth live was about a year back on FortaRock Fest Nijmegen, The Netherlands, during their Jomsviking European Tour. I have to say I was really impressed by their powerful show. With the big Viking himself Johan Hegg on vocals leading the attack you were made to feel throughout the entire show you were one with the Viking clan and being prepared for war. 

When it comes to Amon Amarth’s large discography of Viking-themed blackened melodic death metal, Jomsviking certainly stands out. It is marked as “Amon Amarth’s first concept story album” and tells a dramatic and tragic story of love and revenge based on the history of the Jomsvikings. From opener “First Kill” to closing epic “Back on Northern Shores”, Jomsviking brings us the familiar rock solid sound of Amon Amarth with a little extra… a storyline!

In an interview for Blabbermouth, viocalist Johan Hegg described the concept of the album:

The Jomsvikings and their world is the background for the story of a young man that is in love with a girl but unfortunately she’s being married off. He accidentally kills a man when this happens and he has to flee, but he swears to have revenge and win her back. He can’t let go of the past. He feels that he’s been wronged and his life has been destroyed. The way the story evolves is not a happy story.

I have listened to Jomsviking a couple of times now and it really grew on me. My top three tracks are:

“First Kill”, which tells the story of a man who goes on the run after committing murder. He joins a group of mercenaries called the Jomsvikings, which sets in motion a series of brutal events. In “First Kill,” he commits his crime and becomes an outlaw.

“Raise Your Horns” is the first big experiment here. It’s a victory song after a successful battle/pillage. The verse riff is slow and melodic, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy. In fact, what it sacrifices in speed, it makes up for in being really damn catchy.

“Raise your horns, raise them up to the sky!
We will drink to glory tonight!
Raise your horns, for brave fallen friends!
We will meet where the beer never ends!”

“A Dream That Cannot Be” fits well into the band’s collection of collaborations this time employing metal icon Doro Pesch. I’ve never cared much for her music as Doro, but the idea of including a female vocalist seems to fit the album. The song “A Dream That Cannot Be” tells the penultimate chapter, when the hero discovers that his lover chooses her own freedom and even threatens to kill him. This track serves as the emotional finale to the album.

Amon Amarth is definitely one of the leading melodic death metal bands around, and with albums like this it’s not hard to see why.

 

Vinyl Info:

Titel:Jomsviking
Artist:Amon Amarth
Labels:Metal Blade Records, Columbia, Sony Music
Format:2x Vinyl (LP)
Genres:Metal, Rock
Released:2016
Purchase date:unknown
Record store:Platen & CD Winkel Wil’m

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