[schema type=”person” name=”Olavi Mikkonen” orgname=”Amon Amarth” country=”SE” ]
Amon Amarth is releasing a new album, number 10 in over two decades. It is called ‘Jomsviking’ and Olavi spoke with us to tell about why this album is slightly different from what people may be used to from these Vikings.
The album they release now is based upon a story, a concept. The band self says it was mainly seen as a movie project though, the film script that was written was the base of it. Olavi explains: “To come up with a story that is kind of like a movie and then we would write the soundtrack to the movie. That was the first idea. Then we heard there was a movie script and from there on we saw the project as a movie itself”.
Although this is the first time the band is doing a full concept, they have worked with it before on a smaller scale, the album ‘Twilight of The Thunder God’ as well as the ‘With Oden on Our Side’ album have a couple of songs in there that form a concept says Olavi. Working with the story at its base was a different way of working. At first the story had to be there. “When we had that story we took out the parts that could be the songs and then we have this order to follow, because we are following a storyline”, Olavi explains.
This did not seem to be just a start, all that has been created had to come from scratch. Olavi continues: “Usually you always have a few ideas here and there that you can start with but for this album we did not have anything and we had to start from scratch but it took a long time. We had ideas and riffs that were amazing, but they did not fit in the story. We had to work a lot like that. Also I think this is an album we have been working together as a union most. There was a lot of brainstorming compared to our normal albums” .
So there was a lot of collaboration in working on this album, that could bring its advance and as it seems they liked the way of working.
If you look at the album as a whole you could conclude there is a slight bit more melodics in this release. When asked whether that was a choice or that it just came natural Olavi seems quite clear, they never discuss the way it should sound too much so it is a natural process. “I think if you look back at what we did the last ten years, with each album we go more and more towards traditional Heavy Metal. Maybe because that is something we grew up with. It is just a cycle that is going round”, Olavi tells us. And yet he does not forget to highlight that they never went and probably never will step away from the typical Amon Amarth sound too much. “Still we have our growing vocals and there is also some brutal parts as well” he says.
The Heavy Metal comes forward in this album most clearly with the addition of Metal singer Doro in the song ‘A Dream That Cannot Be’. A rather different song. Olavi says that he feels this song is most special or remarkable to this album in his opinion. “We never had a female vocalist on our songs and it is different”, he explains and also mentioned ‘Raise Your Horns’ as a song he likes with that Heavy Metal influence deeply in there.
As to the story we looked a bit at the beginning and its end. Olavi explains about the first track ‘First Kill’: “I think “First Kill” was the last song we finished and probably took the longest time. It needed to be the intro but also the chasing You need to feel that someone is running. He is making the first kill and then is running for his life. That was tricky, to get that feeling into it”.
The album closes with ‘Back On Northern Shores’ on which Olavi comments: “It is the closer, we always try to end the album with a heavy song and this is not different. Storywise, that is when our character is coming back to where he was running from. From the first song. It is kind of like he is back to his homeland shores and he is coming for revenge. Musically it is actually quite different, we never really did this kind of thing before but people may not notice that. It is a typical epic album ender”.
Leaving the story in between for you as a listener to enjoy we continue talking about what is next for Amon Amarth. First of all, some touring in America, some festivals and Olavi hints us towards a massive European tour in fall as well. It will be announced after the festivals. “It is going to be a massive package so it is not to be missed” Olavi tells us and so we are curious to hear that news, but we will have to be a little more patient for that.
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