Australia’s Silver Tiger Media recently conducted an interview with guitarist Johan Söderberg of Swedish death metallers AMON AMARTH. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether AMON AMARTH intended to create something “bigger and better” with their new studio album, “Berserker”:
Johan: “That’s always our intention. We feel this is probably the best album we’ve put out since [2008’s] ‘Twilight Of The Thunder God’.”
On whether AMON AMARTH‘s approach to “Berserker” was different to that on 2016’s “Jomsviking”:
Johan: “‘Jomsviking’ was a concept album. We had a storyline that it followed when we wrote the songs. On this album, every song stands for itself. There’s no connecting story between them.”
On whether there is a “berserker” or “Viking” element in metal music:
Johan: “Metal music, to me, it’s aggressive music. And the berserkers, were, of course, really aggressive. Nowadays, I think we get our aggression out through the music instead of going into battle.”
On whether the members of AMON AMARTH discussed their musical approach beforehand with producer Jay Ruston:
Johan: “Mostly just sound exploration. That’s what his biggest contribution to this album was. He was totally in control of how it should sound. We tried to get a little more of an open sound. The vocals are probably, they are still, of course, growling vocals, but they are more audible and clearer to hear what he [Johan Hegg] sings on this album than on previous albums. And the guitar melodies come out a little clearer.”
On the steps AMON AMARTH took to write a more “dynamic” album:
Johan: “One thing that differed on this album also is that we actually went to two different studios before the final studio to record the demos. We never did that before. The songs were really finished before we entered the studio. Usually, we have two or three songs that we can work on in the studio, but here, we knew exactly what to do on every song, except some small ideas that came up during the recording process.”
On what satisfies him the most about “Berserker”:
Johan: “I think it’s the feeling that we have very many songs that feel like they’re going to be future live classics. There’s more on this album than on the previous one.”
On his partnership with fellow guitarist Olavi Mikkonen:
Johan: “I think our songwriting gets better with each album. We get more comfortable in our songwriting style and we’re not afraid of looking back to our influences so much anymore. In the past, it was always like we were trying to make stuff that we never heard before that didn’t relate to any other band, but now it’s more like we’re letting our old influences like IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST, we’re letting those influences shine through more in our way of guitar playing.”
“Berserker” was released on May 3 via Metal Blade Records. The disc was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER, URIAH HEEP and STONE SOUR.
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