Awaken from your slumber you filthy Vikings! It's time for battle! Make damned sure your Stiklestad swords are sharp, your shields mended, every link in your chainmail strong, and your helms strapped. And don't forget those vambraces, my blood-thirsty mates! Last time Alvar forgot his and he got a nasty flesh-wound on his left forearm. There's a reason he's now known as Alvar the Right! But one more thing. We need song! Song that ignites us! Song that makes us feel as if no opponent is too great! Song that will ensure our victory! That song is... 'Slaves of Fear' [audio:http://www.decibelmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/04-Slaves-of-Fear.mp3]
Non-fantasy digression: OK, maybe we've been trying to finish the late Robert Jordan's Towers of Midnight novel. The thing's a monster! But damned if it doesn't make us feel like listening to Amon Amarth's 'Slaves of Fear' at obscene volumes. But we always wonder: what's the song about? An uprising of well-trained Viking slaves? Fearful residents of Lindisfarne? Better let Drummer Fredrik Andersson explain:
"'Slaves Of Fear' is not the all-typical Amon Amarth song. It was one of the last songs we finished for the album and what makes this song a little bit different is the collaboration between me and [guitarist] Olavi [Mikkonen] as songwriters. Usually, most songs are written by Olavi and [guitarist] Johan [Söderberg]. It's definitely one of the darkest songs we've ever written and the main/intro riff is my personal tribute to the passing of Ronnie James Dio as the riff came to me after listening to Holy Diver. Lyrically, it's about how religions keep people under its control and from thinking for themselves. It includes some of the most angry lyrics [vocalist] Johan [Hegg] has written and they kind of remind me of 'The Sound Of Eight Hooves' [off 2001's The Crusher full-length] in a way. It works exceptionally well with the melancholic feel of the riffs."
** Amon Amarth's new album, Surtur Rising, is out Mar. 29, 2011 on Metal Blade Records. Pre-order it here.