Sweden Metal Invaded Seattle with Amon Amarth & Sabaton

October 1, 2014
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Amon Amarth/Sabaton/Skeletonwitch - El Corazon - Seattle, WA 09.30.14

Swedish music artists have been influenci ng America and many others around the world for years. Obviously the most popular of those that come to my mind include Abba, Yngwie Malmsteen, Europe, The Hives, etc. but what Sweden is best known for is the heavier to melodic side of rock/heavy metal that you might of never known comes from Sweden . Ghost, Meshuggah, In Flames, Opeth, Arch Enemy, Bathory, At The Gates, Candlemass, Avatar, The Cardigans, etc. In that list you definitely have to include the Viking Kings of Amon Amarth and the War-torn battle stories from Sabaton. Both bands have been raging around for years and finally America is catching on. Of the two, Amon Amarth has been around the longest, since 1992, Sabaton since 1999. It wasn't until 2008 when Amon Amarth's "Twilight of the Thunder God" album reached number 50 in the US Billboard charts and ended up #7 in Revolver Magazine’s Top 20 Albums for that year. Then last year they really hit it with an ever bigger Heavy Metal audience in America unaware of them with a main stage spot on the 2013 Rockstar Mayhem Tour opening for Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch and Mastodon. Not only did they take the opportunity and run with it they blew everyone away with a stage show that included a Viking ship with huge dragon mast and drums atop on deck, something I can recall never seeing in my 30+ years of attending concerts. The medieval stages and dragon Dio had back in the late 80s could compare though. Here's a couple of my shots from last years Rockstar Mayhem showing their Nordic Viking ship awesomeness.

Now last night at the sold-out El Corazon it was a little different situation with a stage 1/3rd the size from the Mayhem tour and a roof only 12ft above their heads. For how much I loved their huge stage show last year, last night blew my doors off with no dramatic stage props (the way you know it's a great band) just the music and small club feel. It was packed sardines in there! Hard to believe just a couple days ago I saw Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) on that same stage playing together (see video).

Amon Amarth, brutal yet melodic death metal that adds some Viking Nordic folk and singable choruses that stick in your head probably like how a sword through your head in a medieval battle was...permanent. Opening with the title track of their latest album "Deceiver of the Gods", Amon Amarth rolled through a near hour and half, 17 song set of music like a soundtrack to a great Thor or mythological movie.



Deceiver of the Gods/Runes to My Memory/Death in Fire/Free Will Sacrifice/As Loke Falls/We Shall Destroy/For Victory or Death/Varyags of Miklagaard/The Fate of Norns/Father of the Wolf/Guardians of Asgaard/Warriors of the North/Destroyer of the Universe/Cry of the Black Birds/War of the Gods/ Encore: Twilight of the Thunder God/The Pursuit of Vikings. Check out the amazing movie music video (over a million views) for my favorite Amon Amarth song off the new album "Father of the Wolf".
 

True underground metal that might not be for everyone, but let me tell ya, singer Joakim Brodén & his mates are one hell of a band and their fans (including many girls in attendance) of the same Swedish/Nordic heritage there believed Amon Amarth were Gods in their own right. A piece of their Viking heritage from Sweden live in the flesh! Great experience seeing it in a small club. Amon Amarth haven't been around for 20 years for nothing. Check out their new album on Metal Blade Records "Deceiver of the Gods" for a good punch in the gut!
 



Opening the show was Skeletonwitch from Athens, Ohio. Evil thrash death metal that was actually enjoyable and the pit was raging for their whole set. Great grooving bass lines and dual guitars that sooth and puncture the ear drums at the same time. Check out their single "Burned From Bone" from their new album "Serpents Unleashed" on Prosthetic Records. Love the band groove!

Now on to Sabaton. Featuring lyrical themes based on war and historical battles, singer Joakim Brodén is fantastic live and always connected one with the crowd with his good humor (see my video below...still laughing on the YMCA thing) between songs interacting and seriously seemingly enjoying all his time on stage.
 



As you can hear in the live video and music video for "To Hell And Back" below Sabaton are a great melodic power metal band with that European kinda happy folk underlining tone. New CD "Heroes" on Nuclear Blast Records is out now. Overall it was a great show from start to finish and seriously enjoyed every minute of it. I'll be posting some various concert photos from the bands at this show in the next days at www.Facebook.com/SavoiaPhotographyLive so go LIKE and wait and see ;)

"Iron" Mike Savoia - Facebook - Instagram - Twitter