Amon Amarth

Versus The World, Zeche, Bochum - 2008

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

This night could be summarized very shortly as yet another victory for the blood-thirsty Vikings of Amon Amarth. Not only did they win the battle; they have now won the entire war!

It was the last night of the Bloodshed Over Bochum event by Amon Amarth, and the pressure was unreal! I know I have written this for all the shows, but this one, Versus The World, was even more insane than the ones before. Of course, in many aspects this was a very special night; it was, as I said, the last night of the event, it was new year's night and it was also the first night to become completely sold out (here we at Metalmoments would like to extend a big thank you to Christian who sold us his tickets, and we're sorry for you that you couldn't come yourself).
Again I wish to give the band a big hand for once more being able to exceed our by now unreasonably high expectations and surpass the previous evenings shows. It was pure joy to watch them, and it wasn't hard to tell that they felt the same way about playing for us.

Towards the end of the Versus The World part of the set, Johan (Hegg) said something things which took me by surprise; he called Thousand Years Of Oppression one of the most popular tracks of the album. I know it is a good song, but I didn't think it ranked that high considering its competition (Death In Fire and our own personal favourite of the album Where Silent Gods Stand Guard).
The other thing was that he mentioned Bloodshed as never have been played before, to which we both (Lunah and I) laughed, as we meant we had heard it several times before. Strange thing is, when we got home and I started looking through old reviews I noticed that not once have I written down Bloodshed as being on the setlist, so I can't say where exactly that feeling came from. Maybe he wasn't kidding after all...
Bloodshed also saw a great sing-along, as Johan started the song of with teaching the audience what we had to do ("when I sing something, you just answer back Bloodshed, ok?"). It worked like a charm.
The encore, or mixed setlist part of the set if you like, was made exceptionally longer for this night as well, adding to the general excitement with a couple of surprises in itself.
For instance a couple of songs from their first EP Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds were played, and for the ending with The Pursuit Of Viking they were joined by some old friends on stage.

At this years' (2008) Magic Circle Festival, Joey DeMaio was asked about his thoughts on the growing trend with bands playing entire albums, where he meant it was only evidence of other bands wanting to copy Manowar. I'm not completely convinced he's right about this, as one of the examples (apart from Amon Amarth) was Iron Maidens tour after A Matter Of Life And Death which took place in 2006, i.e. two years before the Manowar event.
Be that as it may, some other small likenesses to the aforementioned band could also be tracked in tonight's show.
One was the guest visit of their former drummer Nico Kaukinen, to whom they dedicated the two tracks Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds and Burning Creation.
Another was the hailing of a fan, a 60 year old man who had travelled all the way from Brazil only for this and had stood front line and centre for every night.
Or what about the crowd-pleasing performance of the German-language edition of Victorious March; Siegreicher Marsch.
Last but not least was when four of the Jomsvikings entered the stage for final battle in The Pursuit Of Vikings. Like silent guards they stood two on each side of the drums looking tall in full battle wear.

After the show was over a typical drunken and fun-loving German metal disco broke out in the hall, but it could not completely help shake the hollow feeling inside because it was now all over and tomorrow we were going home and there was no more Amon Amarth.
Although, even though the band themselves were denying it, we are looking forward to making this an annual tradition; all they need to do is release one more album next year and we are set for four more days.
Why?
Because we are... We are guardians... Guardians of Asgaard! (four nights in a row, I can't believe my luck!)

Setlist:

Death In Fire
For The Stabwounds In Our Backs
Where Silent Gods Stand Guard
Versus The World
Across The Rainbow Bridge
Down The Slopes Of Death
Thousand Years Of Oppression
Bloodshed
...And Soon The World Will Cease To Be
Valhall Awaits Me
Free Will Sacrifice
Guardians Of Asgaard
The Fate Of Norns
Twilight Of The Thunder God
Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds
Burning Creation
Siegreicher Marsch
Cry Of The Black Birds
The Pursuit Of Vikings

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