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Once Sent from the Golden Hall

Amon Amarth

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Album Review

When a band is named after the Mountain of Doom in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, you're pretty much guaranteed epic metal at its most extravagant. But despite their lyrical bent (including Dungeons & Dragons titles like "Ride for Vengeance," "Victorious March," and "The Dragons' Flight Across the Waves"), Sweden's Amon Amarth eschews the expected Germanic power metal usually associated with such subject matter for brutally intense Scandinavian death metal. Firmly rooted in the At the Gates school, the band doesn't really break any new ground here. But they get the job done with plenty of spirit, more than competent songwriting, and excellent musicianship — most notably from future Opeth drummer Martin Lopez. The song that bears the group's namesake is probably the most memorable, as it contains the chaotic noises of battle, the screams of the dying, and much sword-clashing to boot. Cool! Ultimately, Amon Amarth's war hymns often take themselves a bit too seriously and are bound to provoke either delirious head-banging or irresistible laughter, but what else would you expect from good heavy metal?

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Tumba, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Swedish death metal band Amon Amarth originally formed in 1988 under the name Scum; by the time the new moniker was adopted four years later, the lineup consisted of vocalist Johan Hegg, guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Anders Hansson, bassist Ted Lundstrom, and drummer Niko Kaukinen. In 1993, the quintet recorded their first demo Thor Arise, which went unreleased due to sound problems; a second demo, Arrival of the Fimbul Winter, followed in 1994, quickly selling out all 1000 copies. Signing to the...
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Once Sent from the Golden Hall, Amon Amarth
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