On March 25, Swedish metal kings AMON AMARTH will unleash their tenth studio album, "Jomsviking", via Metal Blade in North America and Sony Music internationally.
"Jomsviking" — the first concept record in AMON AMARTH's storied career — tells a tragic tale of love and revenge, backed by the Swedes' trademark melodic, anthemic metal, which was produced and mixed once again by Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, ACCEPT) and also features special guest session drummer Tobias Gustafsson (VOMITORY). The epic original story is set in the world of the Jomsvikings, the legendary order of mercenary Vikings.
Speaking to Greg Prato of Songfacts, AMON AMARTH frontman Johan Hegg stated about "Jomsviking": "First of all, it's a concept album, which we've never done before. So there is a story that goes through the whole album chronologically, which also gives it a slightly more epic touch to the songs."
He continued: "We went about it differently: writing songs for the album was sort of like writing movie music. That gives it a lot more direction, which really lifts the whole thing, compared to older AMON AMARTH albums. There is more room for melodies and riffs, to take place without having to drop any of the aggressiveness, which I really enjoy. Also, we have a new drummer on the recording whose style is different from Fredrik's [Andersson, former AMON AMARTH drummer]. So there are a couple of major differences, but it still sounds very much like AMON AMARTH. I don't think any fans of AMON AMARTH are going to be disappointed. "
Asked about the album's storyline, Hegg said: "The story I have been thinking about writing for a long time, I just never really got around to it. It was sort of a private project for me, but for this album, I just had to start writing this script and show the guys the pieces and a concept album to make, and they said it was cool, so we went for it."
He added: "The story is very intriguing: it's a story about a man who commits a murder, and has to flee. And in doing so, he joins a group of Viking mercenaries called the Jomsvikings, and he becomes one of them. In short terms, that is kind of what happens. I based my story — which is the general story — on the saga of the Jomsvikings, which is an old Norse legend written around the 12th century. There is a lot of brutality and treachery and violence in it, but it's a pretty cool story."
By far AMON AMARTH's most ambitious project to date, "Jomsviking" is available for pre-order in various formats now at AmonAmarth.com, where fans can also view the video for the album's first single, "First Kill". Produced by Grupa 13 and directed by Darek Szermanowicz (BEHEMOTH), "First Kill" was filmed in Gohrweide (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland) and features a cinematic depiction of the violent, brutal lyrics, along with powerful live footage of the band performing with their full dragon head and pyro stage set.
"Jomsviking" track listing:
01. First Kill
03. On A Sea Of Blood
04. One Against All
05. Raise Your Horns
06. The Way Of Vikings
07. At Dawn's First Light
08. One Thousand Burning Arrows
09. Vengeance Is My Name (bonus track - for digibook, digital, LP, and viking ship editions)
10. A Dream That Cannot Be (feat. Doro Pesch)
11. Back On Northern Shores
Following "Jomsviking"'s release, AMON AMARTH will tour North America with fellow Swedes ENTOMBED A.D. and young USA metal upstarts EXMORTUS.