Rock & Pop

Amon Amarth

When: Fri., April 9, 8 p.m. 2010

Swedish death-metal band Amon Amarth can initially come off like a parody: They sing about Vikings and Norse mythology, have performed on a Viking boat and re-enacted Lord of the Rings-style battles onstage, and synchronize circular headbang à la Dethklok. Yet the 22-year-old band seamlessly translates this image to its music. Hence, one can almost feel thundering hooves on the open plain in the galloping riffs of "The Pursuit of Vikings," the loss of a child in "The Fate of Norns," or the call-to-arms of "Valkyries Ride." The band has perfected the mid-tempo death-metal anthem: tremolo picking layered with a simple, repeated melodic guitar line; a rousing chorus; and, of course, plenty of double-bass. Bearish singer Johan Hegg has a deeply gravelly voice that verges on ridiculous, but his charisma carries the band's authenticity. Plus, he's got a great laugh. Amon Amarth plays with Fear Factory, Eluveitie, and Dirge Within at the Regency Ballroom (1290 Sutter St., San Francisco) on Friday, Apr. 9. 8 p.m., $25, $27.

Kathleen Richards

Price: $25, $27

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