Monday, 1 April 2013

Band of the Week - Amon Amarth

You might have thought vikings are a thing of the past...well, you're wrong. They still exist, and today they go by the name "Amon Amarth". The name Amon Amarth comes from J.R.R. Tolkien's books about the  middle-earth (in other words; The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings). "Amon Amarth" means "mountain of faith". Although the band isn't your typical viking(they don't invade countries, kill the men, rape the women, steal all the valuables and burn down their houses), the music illustrates a time which is difficult to forget. Through the lyrics, the band brings us on a journey back in time.

Avenger(title track of the 1999 album) is one song that I love in particular. The lyrics are about a man who loses his family to a fire, and he decides that he wants revenge on the man who lit the fire. He makes a sword, which is named "Avenger". Suitable, I suppose. In the end he manages to get his revenge, and slays his enemy's throat. The way it has been described is quite grim, reminds me a bit of old Scandinavian folk tales, they didn't hold back on any details. The sword has now served its purpose, and I guess the man realises that he doesn't have anything left in his life but emptiness. He ends up stabbing himself. Tragic story, but as I said, it reminds me very much of how the old folk tales used to be. The music compliments the lyrics well. It is a sad and tragic song, and you can hear the despair in the guitar riffs.
I never get tired of seeing them live. This is from Bergen, 2009.
Another favourite is of a newer album called Twilight of the Thunder God (2008). The song is called Embrace the Endless Ocean. Why do I love this song? Listen to it. The melody is so beautiful. The lyrics are really sad too. It's about a man (I assume), who has been a prisoner for a long time. Finally he is a free man, and can sail the seas back home. Unfortunately his ship gets wrecked in a storm, and sinks. "Won’t feel the breeze of my home shore. Nor see the lakes or winter snow. My hopeful dreams lie ripped and torn. Father, I die alone, I die alone". His dreams has been crushed, and he dies alone in the endless ocean.

One thing is for sure, the band knows how to write lyrics. All their songs tell a different story. Whether it is about a tragic death or a hero, all the lyrics illustrate Norse mythology and the viking time well. The songs I've written about here are just two songs I really enjoy. Make sure you check out other songs as well. What's your favourite Amon Amarth song?

Live in Bergen, 2009.

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