Amon Amarth Takes San Diego To Valhalla

Amon Amarth
April 7, 2016
House of Blues- San Diego, CA

      Swedish melodic death metal (often dubbed “Viking metal”) Vikings Amon Amarth released their tenth studio album Jomsviking on March 25, 2016. Filled with hunger to return to American shores, Amon Amarth announced a US tour and prepared their Viking ships as they sailed across the sea to their American fans. With them, they brought fellow Swedes Entombed A.D. and Los Angeles young metal band Exmortus. With these three bands, it was a show to not miss by any and all metal fanatics. The very first stop on the tour was the House of Blues in San Diego, California and when it’s sold out, you know you’re in for a great night.

Exmortus is a metal band from the Los Angeles area of Whittier, California. Slowly making a name for themselves, Exmortus has been on the rise shredding faces off wherever they play for fans of thrash, death, and classic heavy metal. They released their newest studio album Ride Forth on January 2016 to positive responses from metalheads everywhere. The venue was already packed when Exmortus came out on stage as they started the show with Rising from their previous Slave to the Sword album. Upon the first listen, you can hear the shredding power and speed of their music which cause the fans on the floor to go crazy and caused a mosh pit to appear. The second song played was For the Horde from the new album and was just as tasty as the opening song. Frontman Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez would unleash his death metal-like growls and lay down the guitar solos alternating with David Rivera. Metal fans that had never before heard the music of Exmortus surely will upon attending this show. It’s hard amonsc-44not to get into them and bang your head when they play shred-tastic songs like Foe Hammer. One of the more interesting songs they played was their metal rendition of Beethoven‘s Moonlight Sonata (Act 3). So if you’re a fan of classical music or is curious how classical sounds when turned metal, this is a song to check out that is both relaxing yet will still have you flowing your hair everywhere. The show came to an end with Metal Is King and is a great finisher with the power and speed that the song delivers. Fans went crazy and those familiar with the band happily sang along to the finale of the song, “Metal is king, all hail the king!”. The show finished and Exmortus left the stage. The show had barely begun and already the energy could be felt that the night was only going to get better.

Entombed A.D. is the result of a legal dispute between Frontman LG Petrov and the other three original members of Entombed. Petrov continued the band as Entombed A.D. with the other three newer members of the band and released their second album under their current named titled Dead Dawn. They are known for creating their signature sound of “death and roll” and were very popular amongst the European metal community. Entombed A.D. came out and started the show with the track Dead Dawn from the newest album. Petrov delivered his vocals in classic death metal style while the rest of his band members followed with precision. Aside from their own new songs, the band also played Entombed covers. Fans of Entombed got to hear tracks like Living Dead, Revel In Flesh, and Chaos Breed. Whether old or new tracks, fans were moshing away and even crowd surfers started making an appearance. Fans could be heard talking amongst each other as to how long they’ve been fans of the band. From their high school days to only a couple of years ago. The fans seemed to love Entombed A.D. as they were familiar with their music and were ruling the floor. The band kept the death metal going with Wolverine Blues and then finished up with their popular track Left Hand Path. For some people, it was their first time seeing Entombed A.D. and a tour like this was just perfect for them to be able to finally see them due to them being pulled out from their tour from last year with Deicide.

Many fans were in attendance for Amon Amarth as you could tell from all the different shirts and memorabilia. Some fans even went as far as dressing up as Vikings. With the venue packed to max capacity, fans were getting restless as they started chanting the band’s name. Who wouldn’t be excited to hear songs and lyrics based on Norse mythology and Vikings. The lights went out
and the venue erupted into a huge roar as the members of Amon Amarth made their way to the stage. The lights came back on and revealed a Viking stage setup with stairs and the drum kit sitting on top of a huge Viking helmet. They started the show with The Pursuit of Vikings and the chorus is catchy to where fans love singing along and frontman Johan Hegg would stop and allow the fans to sing the chorus for him, “Odin! Guide our ships! Our axes, spears, and swords! Guide us through storms that whip and in brutal war!”. The next song played was As Loke Falls from their previous Deceiver of the Gods album. Since the band has a new album out, it was time to bring out the new tunes.amonsc-50

Amon Amarth played First Kill, the opening track from the new album. Another new song The Way of Vikings made its way into their setlist and is a great tune played live. Next song to be played, Hegg introduced it by saying that this song is about Loke whom cannot be trusted. He is the Deceiver of the Gods! A song like this has a catchy guitar melody for an intro and fans would wail along and was amazing to hear everyone come together. Hegg mentioned to the audience that they had a new member in the band and it was drummer Jocke Wallgren. Some of the other songs to fill up the band’s setlist were Cry of the Black Birds, One Against All, Thousand Years of Oppression, and Death in Fire. Hegg announced that this next song is about Surtur and how his flames would engulf the world. He is the Destroyer of the Universe! This song is easily one of the band’s best songs with such power that it creates one of the biggest mosh pits of the night and lots of crowd surfers made an appearance. One of the most fun things seen at the show was when Amon Amarth brought out people props dressed up as Vikings and they waved their swords around. War of the Gods is another one of their best songs and with a great guitar solo, it was almost impossible to not bang your head. Amon Amarth finished the show with Victorious March and all seemed quiet as the stage was dark. After a few minutes, the band came back out with Viking horns filled with beer and drank the whole thing in one sitting. The first encore of the night was Raise Your Horns from the new album. It’s a fun song to sing along to as Hegg sang, “Raise your horns, raise them up to the sky! We will drink to glory tonight!”. The next song, Hegg said it’s about two brothers and how the two of them are the Guardians of Asgaard! Hegg and fans would sing the chorus together, “Guardians of Asgaard! Guardians! Of Asgaard!”. Amon Amarth left the stage once again and came back out with Hegg wielding Mjölner, Thor’s legendary hammer. Amon Amarth started their finale with Twilight of the Thunder God and as the song initially started, Hegg slammed the hammer on the stage. Nothing makes you feel like a Norse god quite like singing along to, “Twilight of the Thunder God, Ragnarok awaits! Twilight…of…the Thunder God!”. Amon Amarth finished the show and stuck around for a bit throwing guitar pics and setlists into the audience. You could see everyone with huge smiles on their faces as they were incredibly happy to witness an amazing show. This tour has just barely begun so if you see this show coming to your city, be sure to go as you will not regret it! If you do go, don’t forget to raise your horns and raise them high into the sky!

Review by: Misael Ruiz 

Amon Amarth

Entombed A.D.