‘Deceiver of the Gods’ is album number NINE for Swedish Melodic Death Metallers and all round beardy beer monsters, Amon Amarth. Nobody can say the band don’t put the work in and it’s incredible to think that this album is quite possible their best yet. Where most bands are fighting to rediscover their early magic at this point in their career; Amon Amarth have simply just got better and better over the years.
It seems an obvious thing to say about Amon Amarth, especially if you have seen them in the flesh, but what hits you about ‘Deceiver of the Gods’ is the sheer power of it. The band sound as hungry as ever and the sound of this record is as well rounded as anything in their back catalogue. Notably, a few thrash riffs have been added to the mix which gives the record a sense of urgency and an extra vile of spit. These are present from the opening bars of the first and title track onwards.
Not that Amon Amarth have taken a massive departure here. They are still fundamentally hitting us with their special brand of Nordic Death Metal, it’s just there’s a few more influences allowed through the previously very fine filter. The aforementioned thrashy vibe is present on a lot of songs but you can also pick out a massive groove in places too, check out ‘Blood Eagle’.
Special mention must go to the track ‘Hel’ which features Candlemass main man Messiah Marcolin. He adds a powerful vocal to a blood gurgling death growl from Hegg to come up with an awesome arrangement; we can only dream that we see this live some day!
Album closer ‘Warriors of the North’ is what the word epic was invented for. An eight minute dark and broody journey which, for all the splendour of the rest of the album, probably steals the show. Plenty going on in this track but typically unrushed and cooks up a brilliant end to a fantastic album.
Amon Amarth seem to have thrown away or a least relaxed the rulebook with ‘Deceiver of the Gods’. Lots of elements in the song writing simply wouldn’t have ended up on a previous Amon Amarth album. Here they have, but they’ve managed to keep it all very Amon Amarth at the same time. It’s a killer record anyway…