The Student Playlist

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PREVIEW : Amon Amarth @ Leeds Uni Stylus, 28.01.15

by Lauren James

How do you like your metal? Thrashy? Doomy? Industrial? Or perhaps you demand that it be served from a longboat with side dishes of battle anthems and a very peculiar kind of headbanging? This unique combo belongs to none other than Sweden’s Amon Amarth, who’ll be invading Leeds University’s Stylus with their legendary live show tomorrow night.

The headbanging, of course, refers to the hirsute five-piece’s trademark synchronised windmilling which accompanies tight riffing, screeching solos, breakneck death metal drumming and the (occasionally Mjölnir-wielding) lead singer Johan Hegg’s gravelly growls on themes of Scandinavian yore.

Flashback to Download 2013, where the group had been dealt an unlucky hand: an unforgiving daylight slot beset by technical difficulties. Nevertheless, AA brought their A-game, despite a miniscule four-song set. “It’s a boat – a f***ing BOAT!” a friend yelled over the sounds of a thundering hurricane, crashing waves and an ancient Norse seafaring chant. A life-size wooden prow thrusted forward from the stage functioning as drum riser and backdrop to hair-raisingly loud rock.

It’s true that by simply looking the part, Amon Amarth may instantly fall into the category of ‘novelty metal’ alongside the likes of Ghost, Turisas, KISS, GWAR and any other act that chooses to adorn their stage with more than leads, towels and Evian. However, the whole experience is immensely entertaining and, though often indistinguishable lyric-wise, the chorus melodies are enough to transport you back to 900AD long after the show.

Check out the video for ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’!

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