Rock & Pop

Amon Amarth

When: Fri., April 22, 9 p.m. 2011

If one can say anything about Amon Amarth, it's that the Swedish band has remained remarkably consistent over the years. Its branding is stellar. The same graphic flames adorn most of its albums. Its lyrics are all about Vikings, triumphant battles, fatalistic warriors, and Norse mythology. Musically, the band plays an invigorating, battle-ready kind of death metal with big choruses (sung in a deep, gravelly style), anthemic hooks, and spritzes of double bass thrown in. Many songs are mid-tempo. Such tropes are predictable, sure, but that's part of what makes Amon Amarth so appealing. That, and the catchy, very accessible nature of its music. While Viking and Norse themes are also hugely popular among Norwegian black metalers, Amon Amarth takes a markedly more upbeat and fun approach (it's known for recreating Lord of the Rings-style battles and performing on a Viking boat onstage). The band's touring in support of its latest, Surtur Rising, and will stop by the Regency Ballroom (1290 Sutter St., San Francisco) on Friday, Apr. 22. Expect lots of beards, big leather cuffs, circular headbanging, and dudes doing the hand-gripping-nothingness thingy. Should be a blast. 9 p.m., $22.50.

Kathleen Richards

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