In a world that’s overflowing with Swedish death metal bands, Stockholm’s Amon Amarth have set themselves apart.

Their formula – melodic death metal spiked with black metal elements, topped by lyrics steeped in Viking history and mythology – may not be entirely unique, but no one does it better.

Which makes it rather ironic that the group (originally formed as a death-grind outfit called Scum) took its name from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (Amon Amarth means “Mount Doom” in the Sindarin language of Tolkien’s elves), because we might have been discussing ten albums about Gandalf and Aragorn right now.

But instead, Amon Amarth’s career adventures have taken them across the oceans in Viking longships, wreaking metallic havoc on every shore they’ve landed, and overcoming several modest “campaigns” (album cycles to you moderns) until their tenacity finally conquered foreign lands, even the hallowed shores of Vinland.

Now, it’s fair to say, those subjugated peoples look ever forward to Amon Amarth’s next invasion, knowing that more world-class Norse metal will be in store, filled with evocative tales of bloody battle, heroic deeds, and gallons of mead.

So don your chain mail, polish your blade and make your sacrifice to Odin and Thor as we sail at dawn through Amon Amarth’s discography, from weakest to strongest, in the gallery above!

Beard Banter With Zakk Wylde and Amon Amarth's Johan Hegg