Gods Of War Arise in Jacksonville: Amon Amarth, Sabaton, & Skeletonwitch review and gallery

Amon Amarth wrapped up the fall North American leg of their Deceiver Of The Gods tour yesterday and if you were fortunate enough to attend, then you know that it was one hell of a show!

Skeletonwitch

The tour once again featured Skeletonwitch in the opening slot and even though the latter half of the tour was without frontman Chance Garnette, they did not disappoint. The band took the stage and were on all cylinders playing as an instrumental quartet. Guitarist Nate “N8 Feet Under” Garnette would take time to interact with the crowd between songs before introducing the next and launching the band (and crowd) into a headbanging frenzy. Skeletonwitch are a band that give it 110% every time and this time was no different in spite of the absence of their vocalist.

Sabaton

Sabaton followed to a thunderous welcome by the fans. The band went on to deliver a set of infectious power metal with an incredible stage presence. I am not very familiar with their material and up until the show only really knew about the band but I definitely walked away a fan. The band’s interaction on stage with one another and with the crowd is pure entertainment. At one point during the set frontman Joakim Brodén made a joke about the crowd expecting a metal band and getting, to paraphrase, “these guys that look like The Village People” before doing a short rendition of “Y.M.C.A.”. Sabaton are also a band that truly appreciate their fans. Later in their set, the frontman recognized a young fan in the audience from a previous show in the area. The girl, adorning home-made armor similar to what Brodén dons onstage, was asked where her glasses were – the vocalist performs with aviators and had given a pair to her at the aforementioned show – to which she replied she didn’t want them to break, without hesitation the singer gave her another to take home with her. All in all, the band were amazing, full of energy and great to watch. I will definitely catch them live again given the opportunity.

Amon Amarth

After a quick change of gear and sound check it was time for the main attraction, the Vikings of Tumba, Sweden here to execute an onslaught of death metal. The band kicked off their set with the title track of their latest release Deceiver Of The Gods and from there on out it was one great track after another. The majority of the set was taken from their three most recent releases, the previously mentioned Deceiver Of The Gods, 2011’s Surtur Rising, and 2008’s Twilight Of The Thunder God, with select tracks from With Oden On Our Side, Fate Of Norns, and Versus The World. The set list – which can be found here, courtesy of setlist.fm – was a well-rounded one with numerous cuts that incited a night full headbanging, moshing, wind-milling, fist-pumping, and a clamoring for more from the crowd.

This was, without a doubt, one hell of a tour that included a great lineup of bands that truly know how to deliver to their fans on stage what they release on record: a great time full of the chaos that is metal.