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with Arch Enemy, At the Gates and Grand Magus
From the Promoter
Heavy metal is a way of life, but it is not for the faint of heart. The history of metal is strewn with fading memories of bands that fell apart when times were tough. But history is written by the victors, and Amon Amarth have been marching purposefully from triumph to greater triumph for the last two decades. Formed amid the fertile Swedish metal scene in the mid Ǯ90s, these dedicated diehards brought a new sense of drama and destruction to the world of heavy music, propagating tales of Viking mythology and mortal combat over a devastating soundtrack of crushing rhythms, refined melody and rousing, rebellious refrains. From the release of their debut album Once Sent From The Golden Hall in 1998, Amon Amarthǯs trajectory was firmly upward, as this bandǯs devotion to touring the world and spreading their inspirational creed began to resonate with ever-growing hordes of like-minded metalheads, first across Europe and then, in true Viking style, across the Atlantic and into North America. With each successive album, Amon Amarthǯs reputation grew; their arsenal of heroic hymns gaining strength and depth at the same time. Perhaps the most significant breakthrough came with cast-iron classic Twilight Of The Thunder God in 2008, wherein the band – vocalist Johan Hegg, guitarists Olavi Mikkonen Johan Söderberg, then drummer Fredrik Andersson and bassist Ted Lundström - seemed to perfect their formula of pulverising, fists-in-the-air anthems and shift into a higher creative gear. The impact was immediate and vast, and since that moment they have been unstoppable, as Surtur Rising (2011) and, most recently, Deceiver Of The Gods (2013) consolidated that success and took Amon Amarthǯs explosive and exhilarating live show around the world many more times, and in front of ever-multiplying audiences. Once again waking from their post-victory slumber, Amon Amarth are due to return with their most monstrous and spectacular album to date. A tour-de-force of cinematic melodic metal that combines the best of the genreǯs traditional wing with modern heft and heart, Jomsviking is a concept piece inspired by the elite Viking mercenaries of its title, conceived and written by Johan Hegg and brought to life by a rejuvenated line-up that sees new drummer Tobias Gustafsson [Vomitory] slotting neatly into the space left by the departing Fredrik Andersson. DzDeceiver Of The Gods was very successful for us and we had a good run with that and did some really great tours,dz says Hegg. DzEven before we changed
drummers we had the idea to make a concept album. It was something weǯd never done before and it gave us a challenge. I started writing the story, went into it wholeheartedly and once you start going down that path thereǯs really no turning back.dzDzTobias was the first drummer to play these new songs, so all the ideas are his,dzadds Olavi Mikkonen. DzWhen we were looking for a new guy we wanted someone who has new ideas and that wants to be part of the songwriting. He had a freerein to do whatever he wanted. He came up with a lot of stuff. He has a lot of positive energy and heǯs willing to try out stuff. When you get new blood, itǯs just natural that you get the fresh ideas and a new energy.dzDzChanging a band member changed the energy in the group, definitely,dz agrees Hegg. DzBut there are tons of factors that drove us in this direction and helped us to push it harder than weǯve done in a long time.dzBy far their most ambitious project to date, Amon Amarthǯs tenth album unfolds like a synapse-melting multi-dimensional epic, with countless moments of classic metal grandeur and deathly aggression but also a newfound mastery of atmosphere and evocative dynamics that perfectly compliment the highs, lows and furious battles of Heggǯs narrative. DzItǯs a pretty simple story where a young man is in love with a girl but unfortunately sheǯs being married off. He accidentally kills a man when this happens and he has to flee,dz the frontman explains. DzBut he swears to have revenge and win her back. He canǯt let go of the past. He feels that heǯs been wronged and his life has been destroyed. The story of the Jomsviking is the background - itǯs the way he finds to go back and claim his revenge. The way the story evolves is not a happy story...itǯs a tragedy, I guess! But I like sad endings, because theyǯre the ones that affect you the most.dzVeering from the thunderous attack of opening statement First Kill to the victorious heavy metal sing-along of Raise Your Horns and on to the brooding drama of the closing Back On Northern Shores, Jomsviking sounds colossal –thanks, once again, to the supreme talents of producer Andy Sneap – and confirms that Amon Amarth are bigger, bolder and better than ever before in 2016. Neither deviating from their trademark sound nor restricted by it, they have simply evolved to the next level of metallic might, broadening their sonic horizons while simultaneously glorying in their cherished metal influences. DzWhen you write an album like this one, youǯre basically making music for a movie,dz says Mikkonen. DzYou have to follow certain moods and we had to figure out where we needed the aggressive songs or the more mellow or sad moments, and then we had to find the right ideas for that. It was difficult and it was challenging, but it was more fun! Before we were writing typical Amon Amarth songs, but this time we felt like we had to write something different. After ten albums you really need a challenge. We rose to the challenge and weǯre really proud of what weǯve created.dz
Bolstered by the regal presence of legendary heavy metal vocalist Doro Pesch, who duets with Johan Hegg on the heart-rending squall of A Dream That Cannot Be, Jomsviking flies the flag for authentic, red-blooded and unapologetic heavy metal while skillfully tapping into metalheadsǯ unerring love for epic tales of heroism, struggle, love, death and glory. Plainly the finest record of their career to date, Amon Amarthǯs tenth album is certain to thrill and delight their global fanbase while the irresistible allure of Jomsvikingǯs cinematic heart will surely draw many more people into this bandǯs extraordinary sonic world. This campaign will not be stopped: 2016 will be the year that Amon Amarth conquer the world like never before. DzWe just want to be more,dz Mikkonen concludes. DzBigger shows, more production, everything bigger and better. Iǯm pretty sure itǯs gonna be that way too. Thereǯs a very good vibe in the band and I think itǯs gonna be one hell of a year.dzDzThe shows are always absolutely fantastic,dz Hegg enthuses. DzWhen youǯre onstage, performing, whether itǯs a festival or a club, and you have that connection with people and you feel that reaction to all the hard work youǯve put in, thatǯs when you know that all the hardships youǯve experienced over the years were worth it. We are still growing. We grew with each album and we were never a trend. Weǯve never followed trends and no trend has ever followed us. Weǯre on our own. We do what we love. There are so many shows planned in 2016 that itǯs almost insane, but thatǯs what we live for.
Metal titans ARCH ENEMY - whose dynamic cocktail of melody and aggression has earned them massive critical acclaim, a rabid worldwide fanbase and a slot on this summer's Ozzfest in the US, triumphantly return with Doomsday Machine, their most stunning and dynamic release yet.
Formed by guitarist Michael Amott after his departure from the now legendary Carcass, ARCH ENEMY first garnered praise with the metal milestones Black Earth (1997), Stigmata (1998) and Burning Bridges (1999). These albums were propelled by flawlessly technical dual guitars and a previously unheard of mixture of melody and aggression, which helped them to quickly solidify their reputation as one of the genre's elite.
However, ARCH ENEMY really began to develop their true potential once outstanding new vocalist Angela Gossow joined the fold on 2001/2002's critically acclaimed Wages of Sin album (produced by Fredrik Nordström and mixed by Andy Sneap), marking the first time a band of this calibre and ferocity was fronted by a woman. The album was showered with universal praise, from front cover press in worldwide metal magazines to national daily newspapers alike. Naturally, Wages Of Sin proudly claimed a position in all the end-of-the-year "Best Of..." lists, whilst the metal underground had found a new band to champion, and one that would soon show on the live stage that it had even more to offer with Angela bringing a hitherto unseen level of growling and glamour to extreme metal.
It began with a sold-out UK-tour with Opeth and festival appearances across Europe. They then headed over to North America for a 6 week tour supporting Nile, followed 2 months later by another tour in the US, this time headlining with amongst others God Forbid supporting. By the end of 2002, ARCH ENEMY were back in Europe playing their first headlining club shows in several countries before heading back to Japan to take a major slot at the Beast Feast festival with Slayer and Motorhead. On the way back from Japan they briefly stopped on US soil for a number of West Coast headline shows before Christmas, and then took to the road once again for their debut headline shows in Scandinavia at the end of January 2003.
The band's 2003 album, Anthems of Rebellion, was immediately hailed as a metal masterpiece. Produced and mixed by Andy Sneap, the record proved to be a landmark release for Century Media, as it delivered the label its then-highest first-week U.S. SoundScan sales ever, on the way to becoming one of its 10 best-selling albums of all time. Worldwide press raves continued to pour in - Anthems for example scored an unprecedented 5/5 in both Alternative Press and Kerrang!, Rock Hard Germany made it their "album of the month", and Metal Hammer Germany stated it to be „melodic, grasping, delicately built but nevertheless a massive hit in your face."
On the back of such a great response the band headed back out on the road and completed high-profile U.S. tours over the next year with Slayer, Hatebreed, Cradle Of Filth and Iron Maiden, a European Tour with Nevermore, a 2nd European headline tour as well as playing huge European festivals like Download, Rock Hard, Fields Of Rock, Graspop and Tuska, among others.
Late in 2004 ARCH ENEMY returned with the "Dead Eyes See No Future EP" - more than 30 minutes of highest quality metal, including exclusive live tracks recorded in Paris, three fantastic cover songs by Megadeth, Manowar and Carcass, as well as an enhanced version of their amazing "We Will Rise" video clip.
Now in 2005 we have Doomsday Machine and ARCH ENEMY have delivered without doubt the album of their career and are about to redefine the genre that they helped to create.
Founding guitarist and songwriter Michael Amott describes his thoughts on the group's highly anticipated new album: "I think all great metal needs that killer mix of classic riffs and ripping solos, something that has been a bit of a dying art recently. We are doing our best to recreate that mix on this new album, and one thing I can guarantee is that there will be tons of guitar for fans to headbang to. All in all, I am really happy with the songs and I believe we have found the right balance of melody and brutality - the Arch Enemy trademark!"
The album artwork was created by German multimedia artist Joachim Luetke (Dimmu Borgir, Kreator). Michael Amott comments: "We are all extremely pleased with the artwork for the new album! I had a few ideas initially that I discussed with Joachim on the phone, and when he started sending over images we were seriously blown away -- when you work with creative people of this calibre you just let them do what they do, so we just let him get on with it really! He's a very productive guy, very sharp. He expanded on the Doomsday Machine concept and took it to some really interesting (albeit very dark!) places. It's one of those great situations when the artwork totally works with the music."
AT THE GATES
One of the more melodic death metal bands to expand beyond Sweden and spread their sound across the world alongside peers such as Entombed, At the Gates played a significant role in the death metal genre before breaking up in 1996, leading to the formation of the Haunted. The group's first line-up .. Tomas Lindberg (vocals), Anders Bjorler (guitars), Adrian Erlandsson (drums), Jonas Bjorler (bass), and Alf Svensson (guitars) .. formed in late 1990, recording the Gardens of Grief EP for the Dolores label. They toured Sweden with well-known groups such as Bolt Thrower and Dismember before eventually signing to Peaceville Records, who released their The Red in the Sky Is Ours album in 1992. In 1993, they replaced Svensson with Martin Larsson on guitar, released their second album, With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, and toured the U.K. with Anathema and Cradle of Filth. Next came their Terminal Spirit Disease album in May 1994, furthering the band's reputation with critics, who championed their fresh approach to death metal. This acclaim also led to their signing by Earache, who released their Slaughter for the Soul album, which seemed a more realized approach to the melodic style of death metal the group had alluded to on previous releases. Unfortunately, just as At the Gates began to win even more acclaim .. a nomination at the Swedish Grammys, heavy rotation on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, two successful U.S. tours with Morbid Angel and Napalm Death .. the group splintered, with the Bjorler twins and Erlandsson forming the Haunted.
Heavy/doom metal band from Stockholm, Sweden.