Christopher Amott (born November 23, 1977, Halmstad, Sweden) is a Swedish guitarist. He is most commonly known as sharing rhythm and lead guitar duties in Swedish Melodic Death Metal band Arch Enemy with his brother, Michael. He is also a founding member of Thrash/Power Metal band Armageddon.
Christopher started playing guitar at the age of fourteen, heavily inspired by his brother, who was a member of seminal Melodic Death Metal band Carcass. Michael appeared on two Carcass albums; Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious, and the critically acclaimed classic, Heartwork. Many cite Heartwork as being the album that created Melodic Death Metal.
Chris was asked to join Arch Enemy by his brother, who requested him to record guitar solos on the debut album. They released Black Earth in Japan, 1997. This album was an instant hit, and MTV Japan frequently played the song “Bury Me An Angel”. Growing on this success, Chris signed a deal for his band, Armageddon, with Toy Factory Records. Arch Enemy continued to record, and their second effort, Stigmata (1997) , was a similar hit in Japan, and was released in America via Century Media records.
2001 saw Arch Enemy making a very bold move in the Death Metal community with the hiring of female singer Angela Gossow. They then released Wages of Sin, which proved to be a cult classic and the band achieved worldwide recognition. After extensive touring supporting the album, Chris released the third Armageddon album, appropriately titled Three. This was a purely power metal release.
Arch Enemy released Anthems of Rebellion and Doomsday Machine in 2003 and 2005 respectively. Almost immediately after the session work for their 2005 album was completed, Chris abruptly left Arch Enemy, citing a lack of creativity, and claimed the he “just wasn’t into (the band) anymore.”
He spent the next two years attending university and teaching guitar in his home country. He claimed he played guitar several hours a day during this time. He returned to Arch Enemy in 2007, just to see completion of the song writing process for the next studio effort. The band recorded and released Rise of the Tyrant in September of that year.
Arch Enemy rerecorded several songs from their pre-Gossow catalogue for the next release, entitled The Root of All Evil. Chris released a solo album in early 2010, entitled Follow Your Heart. Arch Enemy is currently preparing to release their ninth studio album, entitled Khaos Legions. This album is set to release in 2011.
Chris has been praised by many critics for his incredibly fluid lead playing. He is also commended for his high speed alternate picking and very fast vibrato. His technique is modeled and crafted after many guitar virtuosos, though notably Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Schenker. Both Chris’ and his brother’s soloing styles have been compared to that of Schenker’s.