AMON AMARTH Frontman On New Album: 'We Wanted To Have More Aggression'

Lords Of Metal recently conducted an interview with vocalist Johan Hegg of Swedish death metallers AMON AMARTH. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Lords Of Metal: "Deceiver Of The Gods" is the first AMON AMARTH album to be recorded outside Sweden. You wanted to do some things differently this time, isn't it?

Johan: Indeed. We went to England to record at the Backstage Studios with producer Andy Sneap. His studio is at the countryside, so you can focus on what you are doing. After "Surtur Rising", we all wanted some changes to break out of our comfort zone. Going to the U.K. and working with Andy was a challenge. We have recorded three albums with Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios. We know him well. Finally you take things for granted. Jens is absolutely skilled, but his approach is a bit too polished for what we had in mind this time. We wanted to have more aggression, sounding dangerous and menacing, close to our live sound. New punch. It is always interesting to change small things in the whole process of making an album. In a comfort zone, you rely too much on the producer and on a kind of routine. It is a fact that you want to prove yourself just a little bit more with new people.

Lords Of Metal: Last album we had Surtur as protagonist, now Loki. Why exactly Loki?

Johan: We needed another protagonist for this album. We agreed this before I started writing lyrics. I slowly grew into the matter. Loki appeared to be an interesting character, a trivial one, because sometimes he supports the gods, but other times he misleads them. That is one of the reasons we have chosen him. He has talents to help the gods, but most of the time he is also the one who brings them in trouble. He is very sly. He's got powers within his reach to achieve a lot of things, but he can do terrible things with those powers as well, as a bad, selfish man. Actually he is the god with the most human characteristics.

Lords Of Metal: You have always released very special bonus material. What do you have in mind for this one?

Johan: The special luxury edition comes with a bonus EP with four songs. We wanted to do something that no other band ever did before us, at least I guess they never did. Instead of recording proper covers in our own style, we have written new songs in the vein of bands we all adore. This means that we have written songs and lyrics in the vein of MOTÖRHEAD, JUDAS PRIEST, BLACK SABBATH and AC/DC. We had a lot of fun doing this, although it was not as easy as it seems.

Lords Of Metal: The song "Hel" deserves some more explanation

Johan: You can hear guest vocals of Messiah Marcolin (ex-CANDLEMASS, MEMENTO MORI) in this song. It was a dream comes true. He does some phenomenal choirs on the song as well, almost feminine. "Hel" is the goddess from the realms of death in Norse mythology and the daughter of Loki. When we had written the song, we thought about adding any female vocals. But in the end we thought it would sound better when Messiah would do it. I knew him already from a cruise in Scandinavia and now we had a song that would suit him. So we sent him the tape with already my vocals on it and he improvised doing his additional vocals. By the way, this song is not typical for AMON AMARTH. On this album, we used also traditional heavy metal influences and even doom-like passages. That is obvious in "Hel". In the past, we should drop these elements, but this time we used them and I think it came out very well. It was an honor to have him as guest.

Read the entire interview from Lords Of Metal.

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