Tuesday night the Swedish death metal vikings, Amon Amarth, returned to Seattle along with fellow Swedes Entombed A.D. and the Whittier, CA guys Exmortus on the Jomsviking North American tour. They performed to a sold out crowd at The Showbox (at the Market, promoted by Mike Thrasher Presents) which was much better than their last stop here a couple of years ago at the El Corazon with Sabaton which was also sold out, but was a much smaller venue. Although they played a venue that allowed more than double the attendance numbers of their last show, they could have easily played the larger Showbox Sodo. Due to demand, many fans were left without a ticket for the show. With the continued growth in the Seattle fan base, maybe on the next tour they will move to a larger venue yet again.
For those who managed to get tickets to the show, Amon Amarth brought along two amazing support bands to open the show. It was clear the crowd knew all of the bands performing, the venue was standing room only as the first band hit the stage and was packed all the way to the back heading toward the exit. The norm for Seattle crowds is to show up after the first or second support band has performed while venues stay half empty until later in the show, so this was a great sign of what the night was going to be like.
Exmortus hit the stage first. These guys have been together since 2002 and have released 4 studio albums with “Ride Forth” being their 4th and released on the Prosthetic Records label in January of 2016. These guys put on a high energy thrash show that warmed the fans up. A perfect compliment to the Amon Amarth show lineup.
Second for the evening was Entombed A.D. A double death metal lineup of Swedes is always a bonus for the fans. Some of the best metal in the world, in my opinion, comes from Sweden. Seeing these guys on the tour announcement made this a must see show, even though I was already convinced with just Amon Amarth. For those not familiar with Entombed A.D., they formed in 2014 after the original Entombed band split up. They have since released two albums, most recently is “Dead Dawn”, released in February 2016 on Century Media Records. As Entombed A.D. took the stage they built on the excitement that Exmortus bolstered with the crowd. At one point during the show vocalist, Lars-Göran Petrov, had a verbal exchange with an overly excited fan who was screaming out at him in Swedish. The exchange was quite comical to me since I speak a bit myself and took him by complete surprise because it was very unexpected in our city. Then back to singing he went. These guys put on a good show and really know how to get the fans worked up. By the end of their set a few fans had already been pulled over the barrier because the crowd was just too much for them anymore.
Amon Amarth has been on tour in the USA in support of their March 2016 album release “Jomsviking” on Metal Blade Records. When they arrived in Seattle their set design was too big for the Showbox stage so it was modified to fit by removing part of the staircases on each side of the set. Thankfully for all of us fans, it didn’t take too much away from the set design because it always adds a little extra viking essence to their shows. The band took the stage around 10:00pm to a rowdy crowd who were ready for the vikings to slay them. Song after song the fans sang along, raised their fists and banged their heads. Fan after fan had to be pulled over the barrier as the show floor heated up and one by one they gave into the exhaustion of the heat. Some fans came and out went straight back into the crowd only to make their way back over the barrier again numerous times throughout the evening. A few came out a bit bruised and bloody, a side effect of the sold out crowd thrashing on the main floor, but nothing got in the way of Amon Amarth performing an amazing show. Near the end vocalist, Johan Hegg, led the crowd in a toast before “Raise Your Horns” then went on to perform the last few songs of the evening. As the show came to an end the band members shook hands with the fans up front by the stage then headed off for the night.
This was a great lineup, great music and all around fun. Fans who have a tour date coming their way, you should be checking to see if there are tickets still available. If there are, get them now. Their shows are selling out and you don’t want to miss Amon Amarth on their current tour. The last USA tour date is sadly, today May 21 in Los Angeles then the band is headed back to Europe where they will be doing a festival run then headlining their own tour. For the European fans, start buying your tickets if you haven’t already! Some good news for USA fans that just came out last week is they were just added to Knotfest on September 25 in San Bernadino, CA so USA fans you now have another chance to see them, but don’t delay on buying a ticket, it will sell out.