Amon Amarth Live Review (Metal Hammer)

17 05 2012

Here’s a reprint of my review of the Amon Amarth gig that ran in Metal Hammer a month or two ago.Pic is by the sultan of snapping/king of cameras that is Ramsey Cardy (www.shoottothrill.co.uk).

AMON AMARTH

MANDELA HALL, BELFAST

Hell-bent on helping the assembled crowd celebrate St. Patrick’s Day slightly earlier than usual by aiming to shove as much metal up Belfast’s collective asses as humanly possible,

Swedish marauders Amon Amarth are wasting little time delivering the goods tonight. Opening with an unbeatable combination of War Of The Gods and Live Without Regrets from their eighth album Surtur Rising, the dueling guitars and bellowing vocals threaten to break the venue in half at one point as the throng of punters throw beer around, bang their heads and generally re-enact a scene from the banquet halls of Valhalla. At the heart of the action, as always, is frontman Johan Hegg and his performance is absolutely heroic. Whether he’s cupping his hand behind his ear to gain applause like a (much) hairier Hulk Hogan or orchestrating a mass singalong for The Pursuit Of Vikings (“If anyone here doesn’t know the lyrics, don’t worry it’s death metal. No-one understands them anyway,” he quips) he’s both the consummate performer and the best mate you’ve never had. Only Under The Northern Star gives us some relative respite from the Ragnor-“rock,” and it’s an epic number that showcases a more stately edge to their sound, while the blood-thirsty encore of Twilight Of The Thunder God and Guardians Of Asgaard delivers a send-off that’s as strong as Mjolnir itself. 8

EDWIN McFEE 

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