Release Date: Mar 25, 2016
Record label: Metal Blade
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, Scandinavian Metal
After nine albums spent plundering, pillaging, and hoisting their horns of mead against the backdrop of a smoke-filled, viscera-stained battlefield, it's a wonder that Amon Amarth took so long to deliver a proper concept album. The term Jomsviking refers to a tenth century order of Viking mercenaries, and the narrative that runs through the Swedish pith and pike enthusiasts' tenth studio LP follows the journey of one such bearded brigand, and his quest to win back his one true love after being forced to flee her village -- having "accidentally" disposed of the man to whom she was to be married. Like all good Norse campfire stories, it's filled with copious amounts of bloodshed and ultimately ends in misery.
The story of Jomsviking begins in the home village of our protagonist, a young headstrong viking warrior who has fallen in love with a girl. His love is left unrequited when the girl is married off. In his rage, the protagonist commits a murder and is exiled, though he vows revenge on those who have a taken his love away. Through the lens of a troubled character, Amon Amarth’s first concept album is a folk-style narrative of the life and times of the vikings — and the veteran death metal band’s most inspired and realized album in years.
Ten albums out and Sweden’s Amon Amarth won’t be accused of going the easy route. Instead, the Swedish outfit has returned with a concept record of epic proportions. The story itself touches on two eternal and universal themes, love and revenge. When a young man sees that the woman he loves has married another, he’s so distraught that he accidentally kills another man and must flee, finding a new home with Jomsvikings, an order of mercenary Vikings.
Since 1992, Amon Amarth have been steadily building a signature style out of melodic death metal and Norse mythology. Recently, they've began incorporating some of the more anthemic and memorable elements of traditional metal, a characteristic that has evolved even further on their tenth album overall, Jomsviking. It's also the band's first fully-fledged concept album.Written by frontman Johan Hegg, the story is a Viking revenge tale with underpinnings of love and romanticized violence.