Wed, December 14, 2016
The Top 9 of 2016: #8 Amon Amarth-Jomsviking
HERE IT IS! The best albums released in the year 2016. I feel like we should lay down some ground rules before we get started. First and foremost, this is my OPINION. Therefore, I could be right or I could be wrong but based on my taste this is the list I put together. If you feel like I made a miscalculation, please feel free to comment with your argument. I love debating music and would love to do it with you. Also, these albums fall somewhere in the rock genre. That's what I do. Thirdly, please when you're telling me what you think in the comments, keep it PC.
#8 Amon Amarth: Jomsviking
F**K YES! VIKING F**KING METAL!
That's how I feel every time I turn this album on. It makes me stop and wish I was crushing my enemies, seeing them driven before me and hearing the lamentations of their women. It literally is the soundtrack of a viking conquest.
First of all, this album is a concept album. It tells the story of the Jomsviking. The Jomsviking falls in love with a woman that he cannot have, and once she is taken away from him, he goes beserk. Literally the opening line of the album is "The first man I killed, was the Jarls right-hand man", and it gets crazier from there.
At this point you might be asking just what the hell a Jomsviking is? Well, that;s easy to answer. They were a group of Viking mercenaries in the 10th-11th centuries. Front-man Johan Hegg had this to say in relation to the story presented by the album:
It's a pretty simple story where a young man is in love with a girl but unfortunately she's being married off. He accidentally kills a man when this happens and he has to flee," … "But he swears to have revenge and win her back. He can't let go of the past. He feels that he's been wronged and his life has been destroyed. The story of the Jomsviking is the background – it's the way he finds to go back and claim his revenge. The way the story evolves is not a happy story… it's a tragedy, I guess! But I like sad endings, because they're the ones that affect you the most.
Lets take a look at some of the highlights of the album:
This one really sets the tone. It's the first song off the record and is exactly what you'd expect from a band that defines it's genre as Viking metal. The story told here is the first kill that gets the main character exiled. I can't think of a better opening to this album. The double-kick is perfect. The menacing vocals are perfect. The description of the feeling of killing an enemy is translated perfectly. Without a doubt, it lets the lisener know they are in for something special.
"The Way Of The Vikings"
This track depicts a training session that two Jomsvikings are conducting. They are fighting each other the way that they would fight their enemies. There is no difference or mercy shown to the opponent because there wouldn't be any mercy shown on the battle-field. Again, the double-kick drives this song along. Johan Hegg delivers his signature growl but in a way that is completely understandable. As a listener it was very easy to find myself singing along with this tune.
"Raise Your Horns"
The true highlight of this record. This, in my opinion is the best metal song released this year, bar none. THIS IS VIKING METAL. The riff is perfect, driving the tune straight into your brain like a battle-axe. The tune takes on the feeling of a song that would be sung after a victory in battle. The chorus is just a banger. If you can listen to this song and not bang your head, your neck is either broken or you don't deserve to listen to this. I can't listen to it while I drive for fear that I'm going to careen into another car. The video featuring cameos by some of my favorite metal-heads is even better. Check it out!
THERE YOU HAVE IT. #8 of the Top 9 of 2016! AMON AMARTH: JOMSVIKING!
Miss number 9? Check it out here!
Here is the source for the Johan Hegg quote: