Swedish death metal band Amon Amarth originally formed in 1988 under the name Scum; by the time the new moniker was adopted four years later, the lineup consisted of vocalist Johan Hegg, guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Anders Hansson, bassist Ted Lundstrom, and drummer Niko Kaukinen.
In 1993, the quintet recorded their first demo Thor Arise, which went unreleased due to sound problems; a second demo, Arrival of the Fimbul Winter, followed in 1994, quickly selling out all 1000 copies. Signing to the Singapore-based Pulverised label, Amon Amarth issued the EP Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds in mid-1996; soon after, Kaukinen exited and was replaced by drummer Martin Lopez for 1998's full-length Once Sent from the Golden Hall. When both Hansson and Lopez defected from the lineup, the remaining members of Amon Amarth tapped new guitarist Johan Söderberg and drummer Fredrik Andersson for 1999's The Avenger. Crusher followed three years later. The Metal Blade-issued Crusher arrived in 2001, followed in 2002 by the dark and melancholic Versus the World, the latter of which introduced a more measured, bottom-heavy style. 2004's Fate of Norns continued in that vein, and was followed in 2006 by With Oden on Our Side, which was the band's first album to enter the Billboard charts. 2008's Twilight of the Thunder God became the band's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful outing to date, landing in the Top Ten of numerous year-end lists. In 2011, the group released their eighth studio album, Surtur Rising, followed in 2013 by Deceiver of the Gods, which featured a guest appearance by former Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi