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Amon Amarth, Enslaved and Skeletonwitch @ The TLA.

February 6, 2014

Amon-Amarth-12Text and images by Chad Sims.

In June of 1991, the Spectrum hosted the Clash of the Titans tour featuring thrash legends Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax (oh yeah, some band called Alice in Chains opened). For those of us who weren’t there,  we question how  these massively popular bands could have possibly teamed up on one bill. But at the time, it probably seemed completely logical for the bands and promoters.

While there weren’t quite as many people in attendance, people may someday look back at a show with Amon Amarth, Enslaved and Skeletonwitch and wonder how these three titans played the same show. All three of these bands can and have headlined show, but together they created a tour of extreme metal for the ages.

Athens, Ohio band Skeletonwitch kicked the evening off with a bang. By the time I made it in the doors,they were already midway through their set and the crowd was going bananas. It looked more like the crowd for most headliners and it was only about a quarter past 8. Of course it isn’t hard to see or hear why as Skeletonwitch writes songs that make you want to move.

While Skeletonwitch may be the least well known of these bands, they are hardly rookies as they are touring in support of their fifth studio album, Serpents Unleashed.

Up next was Norway’s Enslaved. These guys have been around since 1991 and started off in that oh-so-Norwegian style of black metal but have continued on into a more atmospheric and progressive style of metal as heard on their most recent album, RIITIIR.

This is the second time I have seen Enslaved perform. In fact, this is the second time I have seen them supporting the current album. While this night they were certainly good, their music fit somewhat better in the confines of the subterranean Underground Arts. They did, however, provide a nice reprieve between the first and last bands which may have been a little too intense back to back.

Of course the final band was the Swedish masters of melodic death metal themselves, Amon Amarth.

These guys make some seriously heavy music but it is pure energy. What I mean is that many extreme metal bands are kind of like serious jazz. Unless you are a connoisseur, you might not be able to make heads or tails of the music. Over their 22 year, nine studio album career, they have perfected their craft. Amon Amarth might not be for everyone but there is no way to miss what they are doing. This music is catchy and brutal. If you aren’t familiar with their sound, the band from Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse (Dethklok) is almost certainly a tribute to Amon Amarth.

These guys take everything that is absurd about heavy metal and turn it up to eleven, in the most loving way possible

To hear their music, you might think that they are some kind of blood crazed vikings, and this is what their lyrics are about. The truth is that Amon Amarth seem like genuinely nice guys.

Despite roaring like a demon through the songs, lead singer Johan Hegg smiles and points to people in the audience. Between songs, Hegg would politely and warm-heartedly thank the audience for their support.

The best way to encapsulate this show would be to paraphrase an oddly comic exchange between Hegg and the audience.

Hegg: You guys like to party?

Audience: YEAH!

Hegg: Of course you do! Philly is a party town, and now we are going to play the best party song we have ever written in this band, GUARDIANS OF ASGAARD!

One Comment


  1. Skeletonwitch At The Paramount

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