Psyko Steve Presents
2155 E. University Dr
Tempe, AZ, 85281
This event is all ages
It was nearly two decades ago when an unlikely collective from Tumba, Sweden affectionately known as Scum reared its callow head upon an unsuspecting underground. Initially a death/grind group made of jagged riffs, dark atmospheres, untethered vitriol and copious amounts of mead, Scum prowled the burgeoning Stockholm metal scene unnoticed before enlisting vocalist Johan Hegg to their ranks in 1992. Little did the young warriors know that Hegg's imposing stature, Thor-like growl and treasure-trove of Viking-related lyrical themes would inevitably help shape the very core of their sound.
The band later changed their name to Amon Amarth — "mount doom" in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium — and unleashed the five-song Thor Arise demo. Though raw and uneven in sound and execution — it was their first demo, after all — their infectious brand of epic-sounding brutality and unadorned conviction caught the attention of vigilant metallers searching for a new variety of extreme. Amon Amarth continued to sharpen their warring death metal skills with The Arrival Of The Fimbul Winter demo and subsequent Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds EP and by 1997 found themselves on Metal Blade Records, where they remain to this day.
A compelling fusion of buzzsaw riff work, melodic harmonies and soul-crushing rhythms punctuated by Hegg's callous black/death roar and accounts of Norse battles and treachery, Amon Amarth's 1998 Metal Blade debut, Once Sent From The Golden Hall, earned the band international accolades by critics and fans alike. For the next ten years and an astounding six full-lengths, Amon Amarth marched on, longswords in hand, pillaging their way through countless tours and festival appearances stateside and abroad. With each passing recording came a discernable growth in musicianship and a deeper connection with the Nordic myths that make their already brutalic sound all the more absorbing.
A record Metal Hammer called "the biggest and most powerful" the band had ever recorded, 2008's heroic Twilight Of The Thunder God was applauded around the globe. The record landed at position #6 in the official German album Charts as well as #10 in Finland, #11 in Sweden, #14 in Austria, #21 in Switzerland, and #48 in the difficult to crack US. Time Out New York commended the Swedes for playing "some of the most unabashedly epic metal you're likely to find these days," while The Village Voice agreed stating, "the Viking war metal Of Amon Amarth is limitless." Twilight Of The Thunder God earned the #7 position in Revolver Magazine's Top 20 Albums that year and was met with numerous European tours/fest appearances as well as a victorious North American headlining tour in October 2008. In 2009 the band returned to the states for another successful stretch of headline dates with Goatwhore, Skeleton Witch and Lazarus AD and again in 2010 with Holy Grail and Eluveitie! In addition, Amon Amarth was crowned "Best Breakthrough Act" at Metal Hammer's prestigious Golden Gods Awards and earned a support slot on the European leg of the Unholy Alliance Chapter III tour featuring Slayer. The band even made their way to India for the first time, headlining the Deccan Rock Festival in Bangalore as well as tours in China and Taiwan!
Released in 2011, the eighth long-player in Amon Amarth's winding discography, Surtur Rising offered ten tracks of fist-raising, peck-flexing, hyper climactic fight anthems led by the fiery lungs of Hegg, searing rhythms and a volatile twin riff assault with a courser, more organic-sounding production to add more depth to their already consuming tone. PopMatters.com exclaimed "Surtur Rising is just the latest step of Amon Amarth's quest for legendary status, and it's a big step in the right direction, too. Packed with technical riffs, mind-blowing solos, and enough Viking imagery to burn a small village, Surtur Rising raises the bar once again" while major UK music magazine Kerrang stated that "every moment is charged with the perfect balance of power, melody and muscle." The album landed the #34 spot on the Billboard Top 200, #6 on the Billboard Top Independent Album, #1 on the Billboard Top Hard Music Albums and #10 on the Indy/Small Chain Core Store Chart. The record entered Austria's Top 40 Chart at #12 and Switzerland's Top 100 at #20. In Germany, Surtur Rising sold over 14,000 units, entered the Top 100 Chart at #8 and is in the official Media Mark charts at #14 in its second week. In addition, Surtur Rising came in at #19 on Canada's Top 200 Chart, #5 on the Independent Charts and #2 on Hard Charts. The record is #1 in Canada on Itunes' Top Metal albums, and also charted on the following: #16 Top 200, #3 Top Rock and #1 Top Metal. In the U.S., the record ranked in at #2 on iTunes' Rock Album chart and #20 in the Top 200 (overallalbum chart).
In support of Surtur Rising, Amon Amarth decided to play a US tour on their own giving fans what they had been screaming for—An Evening with Amon Amarth—and it was so successful the band returned to the states to do it a second time around. Each tour featured double sets from the band who played Surtur Rising in its entirety followed by a second set that was a "Best Of" the band's catalog.
The band is currently preparing for the release of their ninth full-length album, which will be out this June as the band tours across the United States with the likes of Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Mastodon, and Behemoth, just to name a few, on 2013's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival.
Enslaved is a progressive black metal band formed in June 1991 in Sveio, Norway, and currently based out of Bergen, Norway by Ivar Bjørnson and Grutle Kjellson (also known as Kjell Grutle) when they were 13 and 17 years old, respectively. The band name was inspired by an Immortal demo track, "Enslaved in Rot". After many line-up changes throughout their career, Bjørnson and Kjellson are the only remaining original members. By 2004 the line-up solidified with guitarist Arve "Ice Dale" Isdal, drummer Cato Bekkevold, and keyboardist/vocalist Herbrand Larsen.
Bjørnson and Kjellson had been playing in a death metal band called Phobia, but like many in the burgeoning black metal movement, they were looking for new sources of inspiration and expression. Though Enslaved began as a prototypical Norwegian black metal band, they always incorporated song structures unusual for the genre, with several of their early songs expanding past the ten-minute mark. The album Eld (1997) is often considered to be the beginning of the band's shift towards progressive metal. The band's shift toward progressive viking metal was rendered complete with Mardraum (2000), which contained several multi-part epics such as "Større enn tid - Tyngre enn natt" and "Entrance - Escape"; from that point onward, the band's influence from progressive rock became stronger on each successive record, with several tracks (most prominently, "As Fire Swept Clean the Earth" from Below the Lights) even using mellotron. Mardraum, Monumension (2001), and Below the Lights (2003) can be regarded as having somewhat similar styles, although there is a clear progression of sound between the albums regardless; however, Isa (2004) and Ruun (2006) show a marked departure from previous sounds, most notably, with inclusion of sharp dynamic shifts.
Although the band has used mainly English lyrics since Monumension, their albums before that were mostly recorded in Norwegian except on their first full-length album, where three songs had Icelandic lyrics, while the lyrics on Heimdallr was an Old Norse excerpt from Gylfaginning by Snorri Sturluson. Most of their lyrics relate to Norse mythology.
In 2007-2008 Bjørnson, Kjellson, and Isdal collaborated with the Norwegian noise duo Fe-Mail, under the name Trinacria. Enslaved released the album Vertebrae in September 2008. On this particular album, many of their techniques, particularly harmonies, have been compared to Pink Floyd. After touring Europe extensively, Enslaved embarked on a North American tour with the progressive death metal band Opeth in May 2009. Enslaved released their eleventh studio album, Axioma Ethica Odini, on September 27, 2010 in Europe and the following day in North America
Formed in Athens, Ohio, SKELETONWITCH has been launching metal assaults on an unsuspecting underground since 2003. The members of THE WITCH are bonded by the universal truth, that heavy metal is the law, thereby unleashing the band's brand of ripping, epic thrash. Everything begins with the purity and aggression of the 80s Bay Area thrash scene, but SKELETONWITCH further fuels its evil onslaught with elements of black and Viking metal while proudly waving the NWOBHM flag. Imagine a young Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Exodus slamming beers and cranking up Immortal records at a rager in 1985. Just when you think the keg is killed, Judas Priest joins the party with a fresh case of beer.
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