AMON AMARTH Guitarist Says Producer ANDY SNEAP 'Did A Monster Job' On New Album 'The Great Heathen Army'
July 25, 2022
"The Great Heathen Army", the twelfth studio album from Swedish melodic death metallers AMON AMARTH, will arrive on August 5 via Metal Blade. The LP was recorded with acclaimed British producer Andy Sneap, who previously worked with the band on 2013's "Deceiver Of The Gods" and 2016's "Jomsviking" albums.
Speaking to the "Fantasm" podcast about the writing and recording process for "The Great Heathen Army", AMON AMARTH guitarist Olavi Mikkonen said: "We really didn't plan to make an album. We kind of felt we have to. But whenever we started writing, it was just like a normal [writing session] for us. And then we recorded in England — we recorded with Andy Sneap. Obviously, there were still some pandemic issues, but it didn't really affect… He has a studio on a farm, and we all lived on the farm as well. So we kind of isolated ourselves there. 'Cause we didn't really want to have the virus there. If somebody gets it, we have to postpone the recording for a month or whatever. So we kind of stuck to ourselves. And that was kind of cool, 'cause that's really creative."
Olavi went on to say that Sneap "did a monster job" on "The Great Heathen Army". "He kind of worked around the clock," he said. "'Cause we all took different turns [recording]. I'm a morning [person]. I did the morning shifts, so to say, and then Ted [Lundström, bass] or Johan Söderberg [guitar] did the day shift. And in the evening Johan Hegg [vocals] was singing. Yeah, it was really cool."
Elaborating on AMON AMARTH's working relationship with Sneap, Mikkonen said: "What really helps is that we really like him as a person, and he really likes us too. And he actually likes our band too. He's not really into death metal stuff usually, but for some reason he really likes us. And that makes a huge difference. When you honestly like something… Obviously, with money you can buy whatever producer you want, but if you really do it because you actually believe it, it's a huge difference. And that's the amazing thing with Andy. But also he's an amazing engineer and producer when it comes to sounds. He knows everything with amps or pedals or whatever — he's just amazing in that. But also he's a great musician himself. So that really helps too."
This past February, AMON AMARTH released a standalone single, "Put Your Back Into The Oar", an ode to the epic Viking row. The track was recorded and mixed in January 2021 at Fascination Street Studios in Sweden with producer Jens Bogren and was made available via the band's own label Victorious Music.
The "Put Your Back Into The Oar" video was shot in England over three days in October 2021. The atmospheric, cinematic clip was produced by Twin V and directed by Ryan MackFall at Crashburn Media.
AMON AMARTH will team up with MACHINE HEAD for the "Vikings And Lionhearts" co-headlining European arena tour in September and October. A North American tour with CARCASS, OBITUARY and CATTLE DECAPITATION will follow in November and December.
AMON AMARTH's last album, "Berserker", was released in May 2019 via Metal Blade Records. The disc was recorded at Sphere Studios in North Hollywood, California with producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with ANTHRAX, STEEL PANTHER, URIAH HEEP and STONE SOUR.
AMON AMARTH enlisted a session drummer, Tobias Gustafsson (VOMITORY, CUT UP),during the recording sessions for 2016's "Jomsviking", following the departure of longtime drummer Fredrik Andersson. The band tapped OCTOBER TIDE drummer Jocke Wallgren as Andersson's permanent replacement six years ago.
AMON AMARTH stands tall and unassailable: 30 years into a career that has seen them evolve from humble origins in the dark, dank rehearsal rooms of their native Tumba to their current status as explosive festival headliners and one of the metal world's most widely adored bands.
Formed in 1992, AMON AMARTH became modern metal greats the hard way. Ruthlessly dedicated to creating new music and taking it out on the road, the Swedes steadily built a formidable reputation as a ferocious live band and, as the years passed, were increasingly recognized for their recorded achievements too. Since the dawn of the millennium, AMON AMARTH has been unstoppable.
Breakthrough releases like 2006's "With Oden On Our Side" and its now-legendary follow-up, 2008's "Twilight Of The Thunder God" further cemented their popularity throughout the metal world, while the band's stage show evolved with each successive tour, transforming into one of modern metal's truly great spectacles. "Berserker" brought with it an epic, history-making trek across North America with fellow Swedes ARCH ENEMY, AT THE GATES and GRAND MAGUS and saw multiple sell-outs.
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