By Brendan Reid
September 29, 2019
Few metalheads can refuse the call of Amon Amarth, and hundreds from across the lower mainland gathered at the PNE Forum to pay homage to the Viking metal lords. The guttural shrieks of Arch Enemy’s Alissa White-Gluz where just an appetizer for what the night had in store. Once they concluded, the show began with a falling banner that revealed an impressive stage set up. Amon Amarth’s signature helmet/viking ship drum stand was centre stage, along with a raised platform in behind, and four fog producing boxes that the rest of the band could stand on, giving the impression of Norse warrior statues come to life.
Amon Amarth have only grown in popularity since their inception in 1992, and the band has become a veritable institution. They sell out arenas, their songs have millions of streams, and German liqueur companies sponsor them. All of this has allowed their production value to reach delightfully bombastic levels. Many stunts and set pieces punctuated the music.
Early on, Loki graced the show with his presence, and amped up the crowd. Warriors in full Viking costume came on stage did mock battle. A giant inflatable serpent rose from the backdrop in the set’s final songs. But most impressive of all was the band’s ability to keep the crowd moving. The rapid, harmonized, duo guitar riffs were driving and addictive, and lead singer Johann Hegg employed just enough rockstar tactics to keep the audience engaged.
The momentum of Amon Amarth seems to only be building, even after nearly thirty years of performing, and it’s exciting to imagine what they might pull off next. It will certainly be Norse themed and over the top, but that’s just the way we like it.Amon Amarth