It’s true – when the internet was meme-bickering the whole Pirates Vs Ninjas bollocks, I was firmly in the ‘Vikings Are Better Than Both’ camp. 1) Horned helmets are cooler than tricorner hats and scarves wrapped round your face. 2) Big fuck-off axes are cooler than cutlesses and katanas. 3) While some pirates might have beards, not all of them do, and facial hair is strictly a no-no for ninjas. You’ve pretty much got to be a God among Vikings to get away without having a beard. And beard’s are Metal. Viking Metal is also infinitely superior to Pirate Metal, which never quite gets away from being a joke. I don’t think there’s such a thing as Ninja Metal, but someone bloody ought to invent it if there isn’t.
It’s taken Amon Amarth seven studio albums (discounting EPs and self-releases) to hit the metal big time. Obviously Viking Metal has been around in various forms since the late 80s, but it took the relatively-recent mainstream surge of Battle Metal to drag Viking Metal along as a hairer, altogether more Norse sidekick. Twilight Of The Thunder God, of which the above is the title-track, is about the Thor’s final battle during the Norse apocalypse, Ragnarök, againt Jörmungandr, the world serpent. Who said metal couldn’t be educational?
In other recent Thor-news, it’s strongly rumoured that Kenneth-bleeding-Brannagh might be on board to direct Marvel’s film adaption of Thor. Heavy Metal Haiku really, really, REALLY wants this to be true. It sounds amazing.