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Michael Amott (born July 28,1970 in Londonmarker, Englandmarker) is a Swedish guitarist, songwriter, founding member of the bands Arch Enemy, Spiritual Beggars, and Carnage, as well as a member of the death metal band Carcass. He is the older brother of Christopher Amott. Some major influences in his music have been Michael Schenker and Dave Mustaine.


Raised in Halmstadmarker, Swedenmarker, Michael began playing guitar as a young teenager, learning to play by copying Punk/Hardcore and Thrash/Speed Metal out of his record collection. Michael soon went to a new level with his playing and became influenced by players such as Frank Marino, Michael Schenker, and Uli Jon Roth. Michael's style features a wide vibrato, memorable melodic lead lines, furious sledgehammer riffs, and a love for twin guitar harmonies. He has stated in guitar magazines that he has a preference for pentatonics, and his soloing style is frequently compared to that of Michael Schenker.

Michael co-formed the death metal band Carnage in 1988 with singer Johan Liiva, and released two widely traded cassette demos, gaining instant underground interest. Plagued by constant lineup changes, Carnage would eventually record their only album Dark Recollections with Michael as the sole original member, but by the time the album came out on Necrosis records in 1990, the band was broken up.

Wasting no time, Michael was recruited by scene leaders Carcass in 1990, and released the seminal album Necroticism - Descanting the Insalubrious in 1991. A musical turning point for the long running grindcore band, the album was hailed by many as a death metal masterpiece, featuring the furious guitar work of Michael Amott. The band would go on to release their best selling album Heartwork in 1993, helping to define what is now known as melodic death metal, made up of Michael's fluid lead lines, and the twin guitar work of Michael and Bill Steer.

Michael left Carcass in 1993, and decided to form a classic rock influenced band, Spiritual Beggars. The band released their debut album Spiritual Beggars in 1994, which led to a European record deal with Music for Nations, who released Another Way to Shine in 1996.

Still heavily into extreme metal, Michael formed a new melodic death metal project in the same vein as Carcass, whose Heartwork album was now considered a Death Metal masterpiece. Michael contacted original Carnage vocalist Johan Liiva, as well as his younger brother Christopher Amott, who was attending music school at the time, and put together Arch Enemy. Featuring then session drummer Daniel Erlandsson, the band's first album Black Earth was originally intended to be a one-off project, but the album's first single, "Bury Me An Angel" received unexpected airplay on Japan's MTV Rocks! program, and in 1997 Arch Enemy was signed by major Japanese label Toy's Factory, and invited to tour Japan. Michael decided to put a full band together, recruiting drummer Peter Wildoer (Darkane), and bassist Martin Bengtsson.

After the Japanese tour, Michael returned to Spiritual Beggars and released Mantra III early in 1998, now featuring Per Wiberg on keyboards. In April the same year, Arch Enemy returned with Stigmata, their first album released outside of Japan, now on Century Media records. The album would prove to be a critical success, and Arch Enemy toured for the better part of the year. Later in 1998, Michael also contributed solos to the Candlemass album Dactylis Glomerata.

Arch Enemy returned in 1999 with Burning Bridges and Burning Japan Live 1999 which would prove to be Johan Liiva's last recording with the band. Michael went on to release Ad Astra with Spiritual Beggars in 2000, then returned to Arch Enemy, and recruited amateur German vocalist Angela Gossow to replace Liiva in 2000. Arch Enemy released Wages of Sin in 2001, and propelled by the new frontwoman, the band achieved new worldwide success. Arch Enemy toured worldwide in support of Wages of Sin, and Michael did not return to his Spiritual Beggars project until late 2002, releasing On Fire, again on Music For Nations.In 2003, Arch Enemy released Anthems of Rebellion, again on Century Media, and for the first time, Arch Enemy received US MTV airplay with the video for "We Will Rise". The band would reach new heights in popularity worldwide, and toured constantly until the release of 2005s Doomsday Machine, which saw the departure of Christopher Amott, who would go on to focus on his education. Michael returned once again to Spiritual Beggars in 2005, releasing the album Demons. He also recently performed a guest guitar solo on The Haunted's One Kill Wonder, for the song, "Bloodletting", and the Kreator record, 2005s "Enemy Of God", for the song "Murder Fantasies".

In 2006, Amott made his voice acting debut when he appeared on the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse. In the episode "Snakes 'n Barrels", he voiced scientist Dr. Amomolith Chesterfield and Snakes 'n Barrels bassist Antonio Tony DiMarco Thunderbottom, who would end up getting his memory erased during the first song of their reunion show. In 2007, Arch Enemy released Rise Of The Tyrant on Century Media.

Today, Michael is busy touring the world and recording with Arch Enemy and the re-formed Carcass, Michael does not rule out a return to Spiritual Beggars in the future.

In 2008, Michael Amott joined the re-united Carcass and toured with them extensively in North America, South America, Australia and Japan. Carcass also performed at many European festivals such as Wacken '08marker. The Carcass reunion show schedule continues in 2009, a second North American tour took place in March 2009.


Amott was endorsed by Krank Amps but has now switched over to Randall and has his own signature "Ninja" V2 model. He was also endorsed by ESP Guitars, and has his own signature series with the latter. His personal guitars were built in the ESP Custom Shop in Tokyo, Japan. He uses Seymour Duncan humbucker pick-ups: the JB in the bridge and the '59 in the neck position. While in Carcass, he used Ibanez (a road flare red RG550), a US-made Charvel and a Gibson (white flying V). In 2006 Michael's signature ESP-Ninja guitar became a member of the ESP-USA signature series family, with an LTD model, the Ninja-600 also becoming available and his Ninja has been released in white on Musikmesse 2007. Before using Krank amplifiers, he was a long-time user of the Peavey 5150 amp, and during his time in Carcass mostly used various Marshall amps. In the Arch Enemy live DVD Live Apocalypse Amott's stage side had two Krank Rev 1 heads and four Krank Rev Cabinets

As of July 2008 he is no longer endorsed by ESP. An announcement posted by Dean Guitars on October 1, 2008, confirmed that he is now endorsing Dean. Furthermore, this was proved during the US leg of the 2008 Carcass 'Exhume to Consume' reunion tour, when Michael Amott was frequently seen playing a black and white Michael Schenker V Six String.

In early 2009, Zoom Corporation released a Michael Amott signature pedal called G1M.

This is a list of various equipment used by Michael Amott throughout the years.


  • Dean Guitar Micheal Amott Signature Tyrant Bloodstorm (Used on Australian Tyrants Of Evil Tour 2009)
  • ESP 2008 Ninja (used in the Black Crusade Tour '07/08; 2 versions, one with Floyd Rose tremolo, also 24 frets and 24.75 scale)
  • ESP-Ninja Michael Amott signature series (previously AV-395 Ninja)
  • ESP AV-310MA Flying V models (previous signature model only available in Japan, discontinued)
  • ESP Custom F-Series model (seen in Live Apocalypse DVD)
  • ESP Vintage Plus (seen in the killing time music video)
(ESP models are no longer used)
  • Ibanez RG 550 Road Flare Red (no longer used. Used in Carcass 1990-1992)
  • Fernandes "Burny" Les Paul Custom (White, used 1996-1999, featured in the Arch Enemy video 'The Immortal')
  • Fernandes "Burny" Les Paul Custom (Black, used 1996-1999.)
  • Gibson Les Paul 1957 Goldtop (seen in the video for 'Bury Me An Angel')
  • Dean Schenker Flame V (2008)
  • Dean USA Michael Amott Signature Tyrant (2009)
  • Dean Michael Amott Signature Tyrant Bloodstorm (2009)
The 'Tyrant' series is similar to his previous ESP Signature V's, but does feature some differences from the ESP. It comes equipped with Dean USA Pickups, a Michael Amott signature humbucker in the bridge and a Time Capsule humbucker in the neck. Has 22 frets.


  • Randall Signature V2 Ninja amplifiers and cabinets (silver tolex)
  • Peavey 5150 (Pre-Doomsday Machine)
  • Randall V2
  • Randall RM-100 with Blackface (cleans), Ultra XL (Rhythm), and Ultra XL (lead) modules
  • Krank Krankenstein
  • Krank Revolution


  • VOX V847 wah-wah pedal (no longer used)
  • Dunlop Zakk Wylde wah-wah pedal (no longer used)
  • Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer
  • MXR – Phase 90
  • Seymour Duncan SFX-01 Pickup Booster
  • Ibanez – AD-9 Analog Delay
  • BOSS "TU-2" Chromatic Tuner
  • Dunlop DCR 2SR Rack Cry Baby Custom Shop 19" Rack mounted custom Wah with three remotes on stage
  • Rocktron Hush Super C (Rack mounted Noise Gate)
  • Rocktron Black Cat Moan Wah pedal (used during recording of Rise Of The Tyrant and live shows)
  • Digitech GSP1101 (Multi effects processor)
  • Providence PEC-2 Routing System
  • Providence DELAY-80's Delay
  • Shure ULXP4 Wireless Unit
  • ZOOM G9.2tt (Used on demo's for "Rise Of The Tyrant" album 2006-2007)



  • Disaccord (guitars, 1983–1984 and 1986–1988)
  • Carnage (guitars, 1988–1990) (founding member)
  • Carcass (guitars, 1990–1993. Re-union shows in 2008-)
  • Spiritual Beggars (guitars, 1994-) (founding member)
  • Arch Enemy (guitars, 1996-) (founding member)




Spiritual Beggars

Arch Enemy


Personal life

Michael Amott is a vegetarian and a self taught guitar player. Michael and Christopher Amott are part-British. Their Father is from England and their Mother is Swedish.


External links

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