Amon Amarth

Now that I'm back at home, I've been trying to run more after taking a break for a few weeks. Nobody helps me get back in the rhythm more than Amon Amarth, whose name means "Mount Doom." As you might have been able to infer from the above picture, the Swedish melodic death metal band spins yarns of epic viking quests on top of double-bass charges and tremolo-picked guitar harmonies. In my opinion, they might be the most accessible death metal band ever, thanks to the fact that all of their songs have hooks as huge as their riffs--and you can usually discern what tale frontman Johan Hegg is weaving through his beastly roar. Amon Amarth always put songwriting first, unlike most similarly-minded bands.

Here's "Free Will Sacrifice," from 2008's Twilight of the Thunder God. The song is anchored by a huge guitar groove that brings to mind a drop-tuned Judas Priest with double the distortion. Hegg bellows the account of a battle with ferocity: "We're outnumbered ten to one here/ Still I love the odds/ We will sacrifice them one by one/ Send them off to the gods." Later on, deep chanted vocals provide the backdrop for Johan Soderberg and Olavi Mikkonen's dual guitar attack.

Amon Amarth - "Free Will Sacrifice"

In addition, I can't leave you without posting one of their music videos. This needs no explanation.

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