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Amon Amarth: Deceiver of the Gods

Amon Amarth, for me, have always been a bit of a mystery. Though I've always appreciated their music, I just never saw the loyal worship so many fans have given them over the years. Make no mistake about it, the band have some very strong albums in their discography, and they certainly have never released a dud, but their latest CD Deceiver of the Gods kind of gives me the same feeling that I had on their previous few. It's fun, well played and constructed melodic death metal, but there's just nothing on display here that we haven't heard before, and so many of these songs are seemingly interchangeable with tunes from Twilight of the Thunder God or any other Amon Amarth album you can name.

That being said, if you've never listened to the band before, then surely you'll get a ton of mileage out of Deceiver of the Gods. Tracks such as "Father of the Wolf" and the title track are just brimming with crushing riffs and rich harmony guitar lines, and when you add in the brutal growls from Johan Hegg you have all of the elements of Amon Amarth's attack firing on all cylinders. The galloping rhythms and guitar thunder of "Under Siege" just screams 'Viking metal', and "Warriors of the North" is as epic as death metal gets. Honestly, there's nothing bad here by any means, and the production is quite good, so why am I still left scratching my head? I guess after a few listens, though what's on display here puts many other extreme acts to shame, as an Amon Amarth album, despite some really quality moments, there's not a hell of a lot to keep me coming back for more, and that's a similar problem I've had with the band for years now. There's just not a lot that sets Deceiver of the Gods apart from any of their other releases. I won't go as far to say that they are doing the AC/DC thing and making the same album over and over, but it's not that far off.

Don't let my criticisms stop you though; like I said, if you are just discovering this band now, this is a fine introduction, as it contains some of the best production and playing yet on an Amon Amarth album. Loyal fans who worship anything these guys do obviously won't agree with me, and that's fine, but I'm just, once again, not feeling the magic. Good stuff, not great, but that's ok, they'll have another one out within 2 years following the same formula, and making the same people more than happy enough.


Track Listing
01. Deceiver of the Gods
02. As Loke Falls
03. Father of the Wolf
04. Shape Shifter
05. Under Siege
06. Blood Eagle
07. We Shall Destroy
08. Hel
09. Coming of the Tide
10. Warriors of the North

Added: July 4th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1505
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Amon Amarth: Deceiver of the Gods
Posted by Simon Bray, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-07-04 06:59:35
My Score:

Many people on message boards across the world and indeed our own esteemed Pete Pardo tend to mention AC/DC in connection with Amon Amarth. The implication being that each album is indistinguishable from any of their others. To some extent there is something in this. I like Amon Amarth, I've seen them live and quite enjoyed them, possibly I liked the constant urges to, "Show your Viking horns, "more than the songs on display as indeed everything seemed a little samey musically. Prior to Deceiver of the Gods it would be fair to say that the song of theirs which most stood out for me was "For Victory or Death" from Surtur Rising and that was because it sounds (to my ears) like a death metal Journey song! Why then do I love Deceiver of the Gods so much that I can't stop playing it?

For a start, I'd argue that the songs are so much better than previously, they are much more memorable and infinitely more powerful. Much of the kudos for this must go to producer Andy Sneap who beavers away in darkest Derbyshire adding sheen to more albums than one can shake a stick at. He has a signature sound that makes me think that he could produce an album of somebody doing the crossword and it would be sonically perfect. The other great thing about Deceiver of the Gods is the sheer intensity with which the band attacks the material, "Father of the Wolf" being a case in point. The band even goes out a bit of a limb by inviting Candlemass vocalist Robert Lowe to help out on "Hel" and he adds a dimension to the song which otherwise may have been a bog standard Amon Amarth metal fest. There's just so much to enjoy on Deceiver of the Gods, I love the key change on "Shape Shifter" but above all else I unquestionably worship the closing song "Warriors of the North". On this song Johan Hegg's troops have converted me into a fully-fledged fan who can't wait to see what they come up with next. This song is by far their most ambitious effort yet driven to epic length by the guitars of Johan Soderberg and Olavi Mikkonen and a frankly awesome repeated motif which certainly got under my skin to the extent that my ITunes counter tells me that I've already played it fifty times even though I wasn't slated to review this one. I thoroughly recommend this record.

Amon Amarth: Deceiver of the Gods
Posted by Scott Jessup, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-07-04 04:59:18
My Score:

There are numerous gripping melodic death metal releases from those like the fantastic technical powerhouses Into Eternity and Scar Symmetry, another band that I don't mind spending time listening to are the Viking inspired warriors of Swedish group Amon Amarth. This potent outfit have given us a number of victorious releases such as the mammoth metal albums Twilight Of The Thunder Gods and With Oden On Our Side. Their style does make Amon Amarth one of the most accessible groups in the metal sub genre and those dual guitar harmonies are so infectious.


Deceiver Of The Gods is the band's ninth album following 2011's enjoyable Surtur Rising. Deceiver Of The Gods builds on that which has drawn so many to the songs of Amon Amarth. It's that type of catchy titanic metal album that makes it hard to resist the many strong hooks and those familiar Amarth traits that keep you engrossed.


Venturing back into the Norse mythology Amon Amarth embarks taking you into their musical territory via a bruising and brisk title track "Deceiver Of The Gods" based around the Norse God Loke, not all the songs are as rapid "We Shall Destroy" is one such track where Amon Amarth eases on that speed and serve up a riveting hefty number. They also mix up the vocal approach in a good way with the addition of the clean kind on "Hel" as former Candlemass singer Messiah Marcolin makes an appearance. In keeping with these what were rather violent times the grisly sounds of one meeting their doom in a barbaric way introduces "Blood Eagle". A "blood eagle" refers to a form of execution in which Vikings where said to literally tear apart the backs of their enemies, so you get a fair idea of the lyrical content.


Deceiver Of The Gods has more triumphant metal but if it's not enough then a four track EP titled Under The Influence is packed with the special edition. Which is quite good and presents a change of sorts as Amon Amarth perform original songs but with the twist being that they are in a similar style to bands that inspired them including Judas Priest, AC/DC, Motorhead and Black Sabbath. So if you also like this band then Deceiver Of The Gods offers more of that Amon style metal which we gladly keep coming back for.




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