Amon Amarth

Wacken - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

After the extremely uplifting show by Devin Townsend Project, it didn’t really seem like the day could get any better. So the question was, how would seasoned Wacken veterans Amon Amarth be able to renew themselves and keep it fresh?

“Good evening Wacken! I’d ask how you are doing, but this is Wacken so of course you’re doing fucking great, right?!”
- Johan Hegg (vocals)


The Swedish Vikings trademark intro filled our ears as the show was about to commence, but I admit that I wasn’t paying it much mind. My full concentration was enraptured by the immense and outstanding stage setup that had been built on the True Metal Stage – two monolithic dragons had been built on either side of the stage, outside of them stood a couple of rune stones, and between rose a secure stone wall that also served as the drum podium. Words can hardly relay the impression that these made, and I can only hope that the photos somewhat captures the spirit of it for those of you who weren’t there to see it in the flesh. It was one of the coolest stages I have seen, and the craftsmanship put into making this deserves such praise that I hope the builders could feel the impression that their efforts gave us in the audience!

Even though it was a grand stage to behold indeed, it by itself wasn’t going to take this battle home. No, we needed musicians, and music of course!
As soon as the band members showed up, smiling and ready for action, the crowd went wild with shouts and the show was blasted into gear with the apocalyptic Father Of The Wolf, and then moved quickly over into Deceiver Of The Gods. Flames were erupting from all over the place and it was easy to see that this show spared no expenses in getting its meaning across – Amon Amarth, though never actually leaving, was back!
In all, it was an overwhelming experience in a way, in a good way. Johan Hegg was at the top of his game, full of energy and power, belching out vocals like there was no tomorrow and keeping us well entertained between songs with his warm personality. No surprise then that the rest of the guys had a hard time keeping up, and at the beginning it had a tinge of the another day at the office feel, but that was quickly cast aside, and when they were, well-choreographed, allowed to climb up on top of the dragons we could see the string bending section of the group smiling like children with new toys as well. Which is basically what they were, kids with huge and amazing looking new toys.

What even the mighty Norse gods couldn’t prevent though, was the curse of the terrible Wacken sound. During As Loke Falls the sound fell out completely for a bit, which understandably left the audience quite disappointed, and throughout the gig the sound was far from picture perfect, if you get my meaning.
Overall though, there wasn’t much disappointment and resentment to find as the band did everything in their power to keep us entertained. It showed as well, the audience was a boiling sea of people shouting along to the lyrics or screaming hey, so much in fact that during Guardians Of Asgaard a special section was dedicated simply to the audience’s noise capabilities, as in The Pursuit Of Vikings where we all rumbled along to the Oden guide our ships chorus.
Viking- horns were raised in the air as well, and a healthy dose of crowd surfers were sailing by on top of the waving arms – it got so crazy that Johan Hegg pulled out his iPhone (in a stylish Amon Amarth cover of course) to document it for later enjoyment!

As you can understand, Amon Amarth coped with the earlier competition nicely, and certainly outdid themselves at this show – if you missed it, or just want to relive the memories, I recommend you check out the concert on the net, as it was fully filmed and distributed by the Wacken crew. I doubt you will get the same feeling sitting in front of a screen watching it as you would standing beer-drenched and sweaty in crowd of so many like-minded people, but with todays’ technology it’s the best that can be offered.

Setlist:

Father Of The Wolf
Deceiver Of The Gods
As Loke Falls
Varyags Of Miklagaard
For Victory Or Death
Guardians Of Asgaard
Cry Of The Black Birds
We Shall Destroy
Asator
War Of The Gods
Victorious March
Twilight Of The Thunder God
The Pursuit Of Vikings

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