Protector of mankind
Ride to meet your fate
Your destiny awaits
Thor! Hlódyn's son
Protector of mankind
Ride to meet your fate
Amon Amarth is a Swedish Melodic Death Metal band from Tumba, founded in 1988, and is named after the Sindarin name for Mount Doom (literally "Hill of Doom" or "Hill of Fate"), a location in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. They are known for a very dark sound with imagery taken largely from Vikings and Norse Mythology.
The band comprises vocalist Johan Hegg, guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg, bassist Ted Lundström and drummer Jocke Wallgren. Amon Amarth has released eleven studio albums, one EP, one DVD, and six music videos.
- Once Sent from the Golden Hall (1998)
- The Avenger (1999)
- The Crusher (2001)
- Versus the World (2002)
- Fate of Norns (2004)
- With Oden on Our Side (2006)
- Twilight of the Thunder God (2008)
- Surtur Rising (2011)
- Deceiver of the Gods (2013)
- Jomsviking (2016)
- Berserker (2019)
Valhall awaits me...
Tropes of the Thunder God:
- Apocalypse Wow: Many songs depict Ragnarok or allude to it, such as Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags, and half the songs of the Surtur Rising album.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: This is an actual line in "Cry Of The Black Birds".
- Badass Beard: Johan Hegg, so much so that the man can windmill with it. They even have a contest for the most badass beard for the Surtur Rising release.
- Big Badass Battle Sequence: Quite a few, of course. "An Ancient Sign of Coming Storm" is only this.
- Blood Knight: A lot of characters in their songs. Arguably the best example is the Ax-Crazy protagonist of "Where Silent Gods Stand Guard":The last head falls to the ground
No one is left alive
They thought that they could take me down
But it's not my time to die
I wipe the blood from my sword
And slide it in my belt
This is the sweetest of rewards
The best rush I have felt!
- Bragging Theme Tune: Twilight of the Thunder God and Asator are both about how Thor is awesome.
- "Cause we are! We're the guardians! GUARDIANS OF ASGAARD!"
- "Down the Slopes of Death", which is about Odin's last stand.
- Hidden Disdain Reveal: Happens in Töck's Taunt: Loke's Treachery P.II. The world itself weeps for Balder, so that he may return from Hel's halls, per the conditions of Hel's bargain with Hermod. Loki, under the guise of a giant named Töck, utters this curse, resulting in his imprisonment beneath the earth, and Baldur's imprisonment in Hel until Ragnarok.My name is Töck!
And I won't cry,
I won't let Balder return!
Let Hel keep her treasured prize,
Let his soul forever burn!
- Call-and-Response Song: "A Dream that Can Never Be", with Johann voicing the protagonist of the album, now a Jomsviking, and Doro Pesch singing as his Old Flame who refuses to join his new life.
- The Cameo: Doro Pesch sings the role of the protagonist's Old Flame in "A Dream that Can Never Be". She's also appeared to perform the song at concerts, such as this one.
- Concept Album:
- Once Sent from the Golden Hall seems to tell a story about five Viking warriors who invade a Christian country and Rape, Pillage, and Burn everything in sight in order to get revenge for the death of the son of one of them.
- Jomsviking is explicitly based on the Jomsvikings, a semi-legendary band of devoutly pagan Norse mercenaries and brigands of the 10th and 11th centuries.
- Cool Horse: Sleipnir, featuring in "Hermod's Ride To Hel / Loke's Treachery Part I", "Down The Slopes Of Death", briefly in "The Sound Of Eight Hooves" and on the cover art of With Oden On Our Side.
- Creator Thumbprint: Songs about dying in battle or Norse mythology.
- Death by Adaptation: In the original Norse Myths from the Eddas, Surt survives Ragnarok and his fate in the new world is unknown. In Destroyer of the Universe he drowns in the flood that destroys the old world and heralds the arrival of a new one.
- On the flip side, in Norse mythology Baldr is said to resurrect after Ragnarok, likely a motif borrowed from Christianity. In Tock's Taunt / Loke's Treachery Part II there's no mention of the idea Bladr will ever return.
- Decapitation Presentation: In "War of the Gods", the Vanir send Mimir's head to Odin's court after decapitating him in rage/retribution for Honer being a weak ruler.In a fit of violent rage
Mimir's blood was shed
And to Odin's court
They sent Mimir's severed head
- Decisive Battle: Every fight referenced that belongs to Ragnarok ends with virtually everyone dying. The War to End All Wars, indeed.
- Despair Event Horizon: Fate of Norns tells of a Norse warrior who is laying to rest his six-year-old son, calling out to the gods and the Norns and stricken with grief demanding to know why they took his child from him. In the end, he chooses to lie on the funeral pyre with his son.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The plot of Once Sent from the Golden Hall. One guy's son dies, so he and his friends go to the homeland of the ones responsible and kill the men, rape the women, and burn down the towns.
- Downer Ending:
- "Embrace of the Endless Ocean" is about someone who was Made a Slave but managed to regain his freedom and is sailing back to his homeland. The title should give you a clue as to what happens.
- "The Fate of Norns" is about a Norse warrior who is mourning his six-year-old son and carrying his child's body to lay him to rest. He's completely heartbroken and his faith in the gods and the Norns is absolutely shattered, so he chooses to commit suicide by lying on his son's funeral pyre. Starts on a downer, ends on a downer.
- Jomsviking's story has one. In "A Dream That Cannot Be" the protagonist Did Not Get the Girl—she tells him to "leave and never come back / or I'll cut you ear to ear"—and then while attacking the Earl's ship in "Back on Northern Shores", he freezes up when he sees his father in the Earl's guard and is knocked into the sea and drowns.
- "The Last Stand of Frej" ends with Freyr's death at the hands of Surtr.
- Driven to Suicide: The narrator of "The Fate of Norns" is so devastated by the death of his only son that he builds a funeral pyre for the boy, ignites it, and lays down atop it beside the body of his child.
- Droit du Seigneur: Strongly implied in "First Kill" off of Jomsviking (the video makes it more explicit): the protagonist flees into exile (eventually joining the Jomsvikings) after killing "the earl's right-hand man / When he came to take her away".
- Evil Gloating: Tock's Taunt / Loke's Treachery Part II which is a Villain Song in which Loke gloats about how he won't allow Baldr to return from Hel.
- Evil Is Burning Hot: Destroyer of the Universe, which is about Surtur, the fire giant who destroys the world..
- Götterdämmerung: All over their discography. Half the songs talk about Norse characters and their eventual fate in the Ragnarök event, and the other half probably references it in some way anyway.
- Grim Up North: They are a death metal band about Vikings after all.
- Guttural Growler: Johan, both normally and - obviously - on record.
- Harsh Vocals: To be fair... They sound more like death metal gurgles than the average melodeath shrieks, though Johan is also much more clear with his growling to the point that even non-death metal fans can understand him pretty clearly.
- Heavy Mithril: Almost their entire discography is about Norse Mythology. Essentially, they are to Norse Mythology as Sabaton is to Horrible History Metal.
- I Have No Son!: "First Kill" has the main character of the song shunned by his father for killing the Earl's right hand man.
- Heavy Meta: Raise Your Horns seems like its about this, but is actually referring to drinking horns, and is closer to an Ode to Intoxication.
- Horny Vikings: Raise Your Horns, with the twist being that it refers to drinking horns (as well as the "horns" gesture made by metal fans). In live shows the band drinks a toast to the audience from drinking horns before playing it.
- Horrible History Metal: Berserker has a few songs about specific historical events and figures of The Viking Age: "Raven's Flight" is about the Great Heathen Army and the destruction it spread across England, "Ironside" is about the semi-legendary king of Sweden Björn Ironside and "Berserker at the Stamford Bridge" tells the tale of the epic Last Stand of the legendary lone berserker at the battle of the Stamford Bridge in 1066.
- I'm a Humanitarian: The protagonist of "Where Silent Gods Stand Guard".
- Insistent Terminology: The band strongly resents being referred to as "Viking metal", and prefers to be thought of as a death metal band that happens to sing about Vikings a lot.
- According to them, it's because "Viking metal" is associated with either Norwegian black metal or folk metal, neither of which is what they do.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Most of the group's albums include a bonus disc which may include demos, live tracks, or full concert DVDs lengthier than the actual album.
- Lyrics/Video Mismatch: "The Way of Vikings" is about well... take a guess, but the video is about an underground fighting ring.
- Manly Tears: The narrator of "The Fate of Norns" cries these when his only son dies. The song itself may induce these as well.
- Martyrdom Culture: It certainly has a big influence in their songs (check "Live Without Regrets"), what with the dying in battle or nothing thing, as the title of "For Victory or Death" puts it.
- Melodic Death Metal
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their songs go back and forth between 8 and 9; can sometimes go up to 10.
- Numbered Sequel: The saga Loke's Treachery, so far, features songs "Hermod's Ride To Hel / Loke's Treachery Part I" and "Tock's Taunt / Loke's Treachery Part II", and the myth is far from over yet.
- Ode to Intoxication: Raise Your Horns. The music video depicts fans and celebrities submitting videos of themselves drinking out of horns.
- Off with His Head!: Mentioned in "War of the Gods", this is the ultimate fate of Mimir at the hands of the Vanir. The spoken Swedish in the song reveals that Odin managed to keep his head alive however.
- Also mentioned in As Loke Falls, with Heimdall decapitating Loki in their battle.
- Onrushing Army: Featured in An Ancient Sign of Coming Storm. Much more unusual in this case as it happens in the sea.
- Orphean Rescue: "Hermod's Ride To Hel / Loke's Treachery Part I", where the guy-to-be-rescued is Baldr.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: "Blood Eagle" is about the protagonist torturing someone to death for killing his family.
- P.O.V. Sequel:
- "Abandoned" is from the perspective of a man killed by the protagonists of the Once Sent from the Golden Hall album.
- The songs "Destroyer of the Universe" and "The Last Stand of Frej" from Surtur Rising both deal with the final battle between Surtur and Freyr, the former from Surtur's perspective and the latter from Freyr's.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Several examples given the theme of the band, but the most prominent is probably "Gods of War Arise", which is about Vikings sacking a village, slaughtering anyone who stands in their way, and carrying off valuables and slaves.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: the songs "Destroyer of the Universe" and "The Last Stand of Frej" feature mortal enemies Surtur and Frej's points of view against their battle. The mood for Surtur's fiery red apocalypse is a fast and brutal track, while Frej's Blue Blood martyr POV makes a melancholic and almost angsty song.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After the attack to his Doomed Hometown in the song "Arson", the protagonist goes into one of these for the song "Once Sealed in Blood".
- Savage Wolves: "Live for the Kill," and the wolf named Fenrir features in "A Beast Am I".
- Screaming Warrior: A big deal is made about battle cries in many songs.
- The Scrooge: "Doom Over Dead Man" is about a Scrooge on his deathbed.
- Spell My Name with an "S": They use some of the less common spellings for the names of Norse gods, such as Oden for Odin and Loke for Loki. These are spellings more commonly found in Swedish, although technically there are multiple possible spellings for their names, depending on both the method of translation and the original language.
- Stalker with a Crush: "A Dream That Cannot Be" is sung from the perspective of a man and a woman. The man trying to win her heart, while the woman says he can't understand that she will never be his. Telling him to leave her alone.
- Suicide Mission: "The Last Stand of Frej", what with fighting the flaming-sword-wielding giant who started The End of the World as We Know It.
- There's also "Twilight of the Thunder God," where Thor faces down the Jormungandr, a battle that those who know the original myth will end with both falling.
- Surprisingly Happy Ending: Somewhat surprisingly, Amon Amarth has written a few songs with happy endings. For example "Destroyer of the Universe" which ends with the world being reborn.
- "Twilight of the Thunder God" appears to be this as it leaves out Thor's own death, though for those who know the original myth it's more of a Bittersweet Ending.
- The song "Back On Northern Shores" ends with the protagonist's death after his quest for revenge, and despite the crimes he committed against his tribe, he's allowed into Valhalla.
- To Hell and Back: ''Hermod's Ride to Hel which is about Hermod's journey to Hel (the place) to try to convince Hel (the goddess) to allow Baldr to return.
- Twist Ending: "The Beheading Of A King". The titular king is captured by Vikings, released for a ransom, and beheaded... by his own people, who apparently staged a revolt in his absence.
- Villain Protagonist:
- The POV character of the rather misleadingly-named "The Hero" basically sings about how evil he is.
- Could also apply to the POV character for "Gods of War Arise", who gleefully sings about burning a village, looting it, and enslaving the survivors.
- Villain Song: "A Beast am I", "Destroyer of the Universe", and "Tock's Taunt / Loke's Treachery Part II" which are sung from the perspectives of Fenrir, Surt and Loki respectively. The newly released song, "Deceiver of the Gods", also counts.
- Where Is Your X Now?: Where X stands for God. "...does he hear your prayers? Does he even care for you? His silence speaks loud and clear!"
- Worthy Opponent: In "Prediction of Warfare", the Fighting Irish are this to the Vikings. They fight with great ferocity and courage but even they fall eventually as the Vikings gradually gain the upper hand.
- You Can't Go Home Again: The protagonist of the Jomsviking album is banished from his homeland in "First Kill" after killing a nobleman to keep him from taking his lady love for Droit du Seigneur. When he returns in "A Dream that Can Never Be" to get her, she refuses him.
...when I'm dead!