By Andrew Catania
Just who is Michael Amott? Despite the success of the well-known heavy metal band, Arch Enemy, few are familiar with this phenomenal Swedish guitarist. He has contributed greatly to the rock music genre and came in at position 74 of 100 as one of the greatest all-time guitarists. He has catapulted his band by being able to present quality music after quality music in every album.
Michael became fascinated with the guitar and begun nurturing his unknown talent. Players like Uli Jon Roth and Dave Mustaine were some of his greatest musical inspirations. His style features memorable lead lines, a wide vibrato and a passion for double guitar harmonies. His preferential musical group is Pentatonics and has stated in guitar magazines that his soloing style is close in comparison to Michael Schenker.
In 1988, Michael met up with singer Johan Liiva and formed Carnage, a death metal band. With this came the release of two widely recognized cassette demos and instant popularity. The duo would eventually record Dark Recollections, their single album, with Michael as the only original member. The band would later be broken up by the release of the album on Necrosis records in 1990. He joined Carcass in the same year and released ‘Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious‘, the seminal album in the following year.
In 1993, Michael ceased to be a member of Carcass due to differences in creativity. He went on to form Spiritual Beggars, a band mostly influenced by classic rock. The following year, the band managed to release their debut album ‘Spiritual Beggars‘ that led to another unexpected Music for Nations record deal. The record deal brought about the release of ‘Another Way to Shine‘ later on in 1996. Things couldn’t work out any better for Michael. W.A.R Records, a new Swedish record label at the time, offered to record a death metal project along the same line as Carcass. Michael reached out to Christopher Amott, his younger brother and Johan Liiva, the original Carnage vocalist and formed Arch Enemy.
“Bury Me An Angel“, their first hit single, received massive airplay that was totally unexpected. The quick success of the band was overwhelming on Michael’s part. He recruited two more band members, bassist Martin Bengtsson and drummer Peter Wildoer. Johan Liiva left the band in 1999, prompting Michael to recruit Angela Gossow in 2000. The following year Arch Enemy released ‘Wages of Sin’ and received worldwide recognition, thanks to the attractive voice of their new frontwoman. In 2003, US MTV aired the “We Will Rise” video from their album ‘Anthems of Rebellion‘ for the first time. There was now no limit to their worldwide popularity. In 2005 ‘Doomsday Machine‘ was released, which saw Christopher Amott exit from the group to further his education.
Still, in 2005, Michael made his return to Spiritual Beggars and released another album, “Demons“. The following year he made his debut into voice acting when he made an appearance on ‘Metalocalypse’, an Adult Swim show. He voiced Dr. Amomolith Chesterfield.
Today, Michael is recording with Arch Enemy and making tours all over the world. He, however, does not rule out a Spiritual Beggars comeback in the near future.