Concert preview: Jaxx's Virginia Viking raid

Sweden's Amon Amarth promise to pillage concert-goers with their melodic death metal on May 2.

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2011 – Stockholm’s Amon Amarth will reign supreme when they play an once-in-a-lifetime double concert at Jaxx’s Nightclub in Springfield, Virginia May 2.

Entitled “An Evening with Amon Amarth,” the show sees the band showcasing the entirety of their latest record – this year’s bludgeoning “Surtur Rising” – followed by a second set of greatest hits from their previous seven albums. Given the Swedish quintet plays a brand of melodic death metal second-to-none, it’s a show those interested in catchy and crushing music alike won’t want to miss.

Amon Amarth

Amon Amarth

History buffs, military fanatics and mythology aficionados will also find plenty worth hearing at the concert. Amon Amarth’s lyrics deal almost exclusively with the band’s Viking ancestors. As such, it makes for an evening of escapism unlike any other, with the group having employed fireworks, mock sword fights, mead drinking, and longboats during their past live performances.

Tickets for this epic event have already sold out, but I’ll be in attendance so that any heavy metal fans left in the lurch can read a detailed concert recap, and (if possible) an interview, once the gig’s final notes have been played. In the meantime, here’s a prediction of how the show will unfold:

Sounds like: Amon Amarth excel at crafting massive war anthems that function on two separate levels. In person, they rattle bones with a strength that borders on seismic. Between a pair of headphones, the band’s tunes stick like a battle-axe in listeners’ skulls, lingering for days on account of their catchiness.

Likely concert experience: An Amon Amarth show is part arena concert, part medieval invasion. War banners and shields hang from the stage, lit torches flicker amongst the band, and runes are carved into their equipment. Given Amon Amarth’s ferocious, rousing music, all odds point towards a crowd going every bit as berserk.

Song I’d love to hear: Given Amon Amarth is playing two distinct sets, it makes sense to highlight a song from each performance. Though the entirety of the band’s latest album, “Surtur Rising,” is potent through-and-through, it’s “Tock’s Taunt – Loke’s Treachery Part II” that’ll steal the show with its gargantuan guitar riffs and molten-hot solos. Later on, here’s hoping the ominous rumble of “An Ancient Sign of Coming Storm” emanates from the stage. Plodding and relentless, this opening song from 2004’s “Fate of Norns” perfectly captures the intensity and fury of a Viking longboat raid.

What’s that? A band interview and concert recap isn’t enough articles on Amon Amarth, dear readers? Fear not – there’s a review of “Surtur Rising” on the horizon. In the meantime, check out the band’s back catalog – it’s one of the most memorable, consistently good outputs in all of melodic death metal.

Read more of Mark’s work in Heavy Metal Hensch and Out and About D.C. at the Washington Times Communities.


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Mark Hensch

Mark Hensch is a heavy metal fanatic who has been scribing about the genre since 2003.  A Grand Rapids, Mich. metalhead, Mark also writes for while serving as its editor.  He maintains a recurring column there called "Hensch's Hometown Heroes" which spotlights unsigned heavy metal bands.  He apologizes for any subsequent ear bleeds readers incur while checking out his music blog. He also writes about restaurants and mixed martial arts for the "Washington Times" in addition to extreme music.


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