There is always a thrill component when you go to an Amon Amarth show, you don’t know what to expect yet you know that there will be a lot of chanting, and you will be throwing the horns on the air almost during the whole show. This time around the Swedish Vikings are raiding the North American cities with a new production and a new album titled Jomsviking.
Last time I saw Amon Amarth was at a warehouse type of venue in Tucson, AZ where for some reason they were given a corner stage, and a terrible sound system. This time around the show was at a great venue called The Pressroom in downtown Phoenix, AZ, so it was closer and I knew their show was going to have a better presence (unfortunately because of the venue’s specifications the Phoenix show didn’t have the full Viking helmet stage). Once entering the venue everyone was welcomed at the entrance by two guys in full Viking gala with swords and shields on hand setting the mood of the show from the very beginning.
The show kicked off with Whittier, CA’ s very own Exmortus who played a solid set that included some music from their new album Ride Forth and some of their best songs in their catalog, they did a great job kicking off the party for a show that was getting full by the hour. Since they have toured often here in AZ they already had a solid fan-based that definitely raise their voice to welcome the band and were happy to listen their new material. There were some people who got exposed to their heavy riffs that night and they were spotted at the merch table getting some of their stuff. So it was a good night for the California metallers.
Next up was Entombed A.D. who is returning to the US promoting their new album Dead Dawn which was released at the end of February. Entombed A.D. delivered an amazing performance of pure and unadulterated old school death metal. These guys definitely brought the venue to its knees with songs like Midas in Reverse & Dead Dawn from their new album and some old Entombed covers like Left Hand Path, Revel in Flesh, Living Dead, and Stranger Aeons. Being this my first time seeing these Swedes definitely was impressed by their death metal style and the way they keep the memory of Entombed alive, a great addition to the tour and the perfect band to warm up the crowd before Amon Amarth.
Talking about warming up, the venue was steaming hot minutes before Amon Amarth as it seems that the show sold out before the band’s performance. As I mentioned before because of logistical reasons Amon Amarth was unable to perform with their full stage production, but that wasn’t an impediment to delivering a kick ass two-hour show that visited a good part of their 16th years old discography including new songs from Jomsviking like First Kill, The Way Of Vikings, At Dawn’s First Light, One Thousand Burning Arrows, and One Against All.
This is perhaps the best Amon Amarth show that I have experienced in a while, they are at their top of their game, and their fans show once again how loyal they are to their style, the new songs sound incredible live and the package, in general, was top-notch. I was glad they played a venue that could offer the necessary to experience their show fully. This is a must go show, and could be considered as one of the best North American packages this spring, so If they are scheduled to play your town, don’t hesitate and go, it’s worth it.