Thursday, 20 February 2014

Thursday Tune - Under the Northern Star by Amon Amarth

Welcome to the first in the new regular feature here on my blog. Some time ago I posted about how music can help make you a better writer (you can read that post here), more than that music is a  a medium I enjoy in particular while I'm writing or reading, or even just driving the car!. Don't get me wrong I have no talent as a musician, but I do appreciate music in its various forms.

While my musical taste tends to lean towards the heavier end of the spectrum, I do listen to an eclectic variety depending on my mood, so in this feature I'm going to share soem of the songs that stand out for me and hopefully you'll discover something new as well.

The Song

As I mentioned in the introduction I'm a fan of heavy music and Amon Amarth are a good example of growly heavy metal (fans often refer to theior music as Viking Metal, but the band aren't keen on the term), this particular song is a little different from their usual tracks as the song itself is quite melodic.

I love this song for three reasons, the first is the haunting and mournful guitar work, it's not complicated but it carries the sense of emptiness of the song's story effectively. The second reason is the story itself, the lyrics like the guitar work are relatively simple but convey the sense of a Viking ship having been long from home heading home under the icy skies of the  northern seas.

The third aspect is the juxtaposition of it, and to an extent there's a novelty to it. Most of their turns are hard and quite aggresive. With this song in the same voice (and I know the growly singing will put some people off) they tell a more subtle story, one full of hope and not a little sorrow.

The Band

Amon Amarth are a Swedish death metal band who's songs typically centre around viking mythology and history. They first formed in 1988 (although I'm a recent convert I've only been listening to them for a few years) and have since released nine albums. My favourites so far have Twighlight of the Thunder God and Deceiver of the Gods, although I've enjoyed all of them to varying degrees.

You can follow Amon Amrth on Facebook, or through their website.

The Album

With Oden on our Side was Amon Amarth's sixth studio album, Under the Northern Star is my favourite track on the album, but Valhall Awaits Me, the opening track also deserves a mention. The album was released in 2006.

Click here to purchase With Oden on Our Side from Amazon (and it's a cracking album)

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