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Grievances at the Office with Amon Amarth

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Ever since the release of their 1996 debut EP, Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds, Amon Amarth have consistently ranked as one of metal’s most lyrically versatile and thematically diverse bands. And while their songs have always covered a vast range of topics relevant to modern life, ranging from the intense relationship drama as described in “An Ancient Sign of Coming Storm” to just letting the good times roll in “Destroyer of the Universe,” there is one topic that has repeatedly risen to the forefront of each and every Amon Amarth album released to date so far: the office. No other extreme metal band has had nearly as much to say when it comes to cubicles, corporate mismanagement, or dressing business casual, and it is for that reason that we should all raise our horns as we venture forth on a resume-building experience with Hegg and co. to that most unholy place where death seems to dwell. 

On simply being at the office everyday:

“So how
Did I ever end up here?
Humiliated, broken, and weak.”

— “A Beast am I”

On frequent software freeze-ups and other computer malfunctions:

“Now my sworn enemy
Vengeance will belong to me
A year has gone by
Now my sworn enemy
It’s your turn to die
It’s your turn to die!
Die!
To die!
Die, die!
Die, die!
Die, die, die, die, die!”

— “Avenger “

On senior management doing despicable things:

“No signs of weakness
No signs of weariness
Not even a glimpse
Of remorse in their eyes”

— “Victorious March”

On being encouraged to be a team-player by non-team-players:

“They’re feeding you lies
With calculating smiles
Enslavement of the human mind
As long as you kneel to their authority”

— “Slaves of Fear”

On coworkers who habitually throw their peers under the bus:

“Silently we bide our time
Soon we’ll pay you back
For all the wrongs you’ve done our kind
For the stabwounds in our backs”

— “For the Stabwounds in Our Backs”

On day-dreaming of winning the lottery and never going back to work again:

“All you know will wither away
And sink into the sea
A new world will be born one day
Where everyone is free”

— “Death in Fire”

On the inherent phoniness that defines every human resources department in existence:

“Bastards of a lying breed
You’ve ruled us for too long
Truth to you are lies to me
And your right is so wrong”

— “Bastards of a Lying Breed”

On speaking honestly rather than saying whatever it is that your boss wants to hear:

“My words are poison to your ears
I say the words you fear
Still you know it is the truth you hear”

— “Shape Shifter”

On being a proper yes man:

“I don’t deserve their sympathy
I know who I am
My soul is death and misery
I am an evil man”

— “The Hero”

On leaving for the day:

“It’s time to take farewell
We have been resolved
From the sacred oath we gave
It’s time to go back home”

— “Varyags of Miklagaard”

On getting shafted with overtime:

“My heart beats
It’s about to burst
This day my luck
Turned to the worse”

— “No Fear for the Setting Sun”

On the importance of happy hour:

“So pour the beer for thirsty men
A drink that they have earned”

— “Raise Your Horns”

On walking into the office building each morning:

“Wailing voices on the wind
Urging me to turn
Distant tortured screams
Cold blue fires burn”

— “Hermod’s Ride To Hel – Lokes Treachery Part 1”

On working your way up the corporate ladder:

“I’ve lived a life of prosperity
But I’m not as young as I used to be
Down the road waits misery
Why cannot death just set me free!”

— “Across the Rainbow Bridge”

On the emotional toll of grinding it out for 30+ years:

“There is a darkness
In my soul
A darkness
That can’t be tamed
A deep void of emptiness
A gaping wound
A vile, corrupted entity
That has no name”

— “Into the Dark”

On reaching retirement:

“I spent my life 
in foolish quest
for gold and riches
I’d contest
And now I’m left 
With just regrets
Too late to change my ways
My life, it seems
Has slipped away
I leave no legacy to praise
Nothing more for me to say
My life has been a waste”

— “Doom Over Dead Man”

On the dread that sets in on Sunday night prior to Monday morning:

“Somebody wake me!
From this horrible dream!
Somebody save me!
From this terror I feel!”

— “Wrath of the Norsemen”

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