Swedish death-metal combo Amon Amarth lifted its moniker from one of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy books. It's in the elvish language of Sindarin and means "Mount Doom." Fittingly, most of Amon Amarth's songs are about Norse mythology and everyday viking activities — like going on quests and exploring ruins. The band has evolved into an extremely accessible combo since its inception 15 years ago, ranking right up there with Oslo's Dimmu Borgir in the melody department. The viking-metal scene may not be as sturdy as it once was, but that hasn't stopped Amon Amarth from releasing a new album every other year. And there's plenty of literal head-banging onstage, where all five members clash and collide with each other (sometimes wielding swords). Through it all, they've remained faithful to their original creed: Vikings are supercool, and Odin and Thor were the planet's ultimate badasses.
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