Amon Amarth are one of the most exciting bands in the death metal realm. It's been 20 years since the release of the Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds EP and now the Swedish gang of vikings are ready to present their landmark 10th album, Jomsviking. Out March 25 on Metal Blade, the album delivers the tried and true Amon Amarth formula of devastating rhythms, ear-fetching melodies and anthemic vocal hooks with a bit more of a nod to their traditional metal influences.

In this interview, vocalist Johan Hegg talks about the band's current influences versus when they began two decades ago. Jomsviking is perhaps the most triumphant sounding album the band has made and Hegg describes how the writing process has changed from the days where they used to be more selective in their writing, making sure nothing sounded too much like another band.

A tale of love and revenge, Jomsviking is the first concept album from Amon Amarth. Hegg has had experience in this sort of realm, acting in Northmen: A Viking Saga and he discusses the differences and similarities between getting into character for both the film and when writing lyrics and performing onstage. The band always brings an eye-catching stage set, usually with a viking ship, and Hegg addresses the potential of presenting a theatrical stage production based around the Jomsviking saga.

Vikings are the exclusive topic of Amon Amarth's music and the frontman brings us back to his childhood where he discovered the viking sagas and how he differed from his friends who were busy reading The Lord of the Rings. Despite sticking with the viking theme, the band actually took their name from The Lord of the Rings as Amon Amarth is Sindarin (the fictional language created by the novel's author, J.R.R. Tolkein) for Mount Doom.

Watch our interview with Johan Hegg above and get ready to swing your battle axe in anticipation for Jomsviking! Amon Amarth will be touring North America with Entombed A.D. and Exmortus beginning in April. For a list of dates, visit our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours, and be sure to pre-order the album Jomsviking at iTunes or in various bundles at the band's merch store.

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