For anyone not in the know, the area around Manchester’s Academy venue might have seemed stranger than usual, even when taking into account that it was Halloween. The reason? Hordes of hirsute warriors on the street brandishing horns of mead, with the odd battle cry piercing the cold night air. It could only mean one thing, modern day Swedish Vikings Amon Amarth have sailed into town as part of their Jomsviking World Tour.
One thing that you notice is the diverse age range of the crowd. From the denim jacketed old schoolers to the young kids with their parents, it really speaks to the popularity of the band which has developed over the years. Proceedings are opened with "The Pursuit of Vikings" from 2004’s Fate of Norns, and it’s clear to see from the beginning how things are going to go.
Never ones to underestimate the value of theatricality, Jocke Wallgren’s drumkit sits atop a huge replica Viking helmet, complete with oversized horns. And with various posing steps, pyro effects and flag waving minions at hand, this show is as much about what you see as what you hear. But that’s not to take away from the music on offer. With a 17 song set covering 7 of their 10 studio albums, it really is a career-spanning performance.
Finishing off with the potent combo of "Guardians of Asgaard" and "Twilight of the Thunder God", Johan Hegg and crew pack up and set sail for the next port of call, safe in the knowledge that the Manchester faithful are still willing to stand and fight with them.
Jomsviking Track Listing:
01. First Kill
03. On A Sea Of Blood
04. One Against All
05. Raise Your Horns
06. The Way Of Vikings
07. At Dawn's First Light
08. One Thousand Burning Arrows
09. Vengeance Is My Name (bonus track - for digibook, digital, LP, and viking ship editions)
10. A Dream That Cannot Be (featuring Doro Pesch)
11. Back On Northern Shores