Jun 08

Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods (2013)


Amon Amarth - Deceiver of the Gods
When Amon Amarth releases a new album, fans have a set list of expectations of what they’re going to hear. Time and time again, everyone’s favorite band of vikings delivers on target. So what can fans expect with their newest release, Deceiver of the Gods? Epic guitar riffs and harmonies? Themes of death, destruction, and the impending end of the world? A stiff neck from nonstop headbanging? Yes. Yes. Yes. Deceiver of the Gods is indeed everything that fans expect, but there is something markedly different about this album. Before digging into the album, it must be noted that it was produced by mastermind genius Andy Sneap, who really turned out a clean album. You can hear everything clearly and that really makes this album a joy to listen to.

Once you recover from the first spin, you will definitely notice that this album is not simply another Amon Amarth release. Primarily, you get the sense that the band decided to reign in the sheer force and power of their sound, letting the songs breathe a bit and allowing for more musical artistry. This album is not soft by any means. There are parts of the album that are more akin to deftly jabbing you in the face, rather than unleashing a wave of haymakers. Fear not faithful hordes, the haymakers are still there in spades.

The first single released to fans was the title track and it kicks off the album. It’s a perfect warm up to the other nine tales that follow, as it captures everything we expect from Amon Amarth. If you are living under a virtual rock and haven’t heard it, you can find it below. The next two tracks, As Loke Falls and Father of the Wolf, are where you really notice the band’s controlled approach that appears throughout the album. As mentioned previously, the strength and might are certainly there in these songs, but the speed and steamrolling power we all know and relish have been brought back a couple notches. This is particularly evident with the guitar solos; typically packing a forceful punch, they have been slowed down a bit, letting Johan Söderberg and Olavi Mikkonen add small splashes that provide a dynamic heard less often on previous recordings. You will also note that the controlled tempo allows Fredrik Andersson the chance to give his drumming some nice flourishes.

Fans hungering for a total sonic onslaught will be more than satisfied with tracks like Shape Shifter and Blood Eagle, which carry the torch of that classic Amon Amarth sound. One track that stood out was Hel, which features a guest appearance by Messiah Marcolin (ex-Candlemass). Amon Amarth have had guest vocals before, but Marcolin’s operatic wails inject an interesting twist to the band. The song definitely feels like death metal, but with a very thin layer of doom metal carefully woven within the framework. Although all the tracks on this album shine, one that really sits above the rest is Coming of the Tide. It really encapsulates the variety of writing throughout the album into one compact track. The riff has a crushing groove, there are moments when the band ratchets down the power, followed by a bursting end.

Some people refer to Amon Amarth as the AC/DC of metal, implying that they release the same album with the same catchy songs over and over again. While this claim may have merit to a certain extent, the members of this band certainly have more than enough creative skill to keep fans interested with every release. Deceiver of the Gods goes beyond interesting as we witness the band take an even further step outside of the familiar. The changes aren’t overt and won’t turn off diehard fans. It certainly isn’t as though the band has never written slower-paced songs, but instead of being the focus of a particular track, it is a more deliberate tool utilized throughout the album. It is a welcomed breath of fresh air and hopefully the band will not shy away from expanding a little further in the future.



1. Deceiver of the Gods
2. As Loke Falls
3. Father of the Wolf
4. Shape Shifter
5. Under Siege
6. Blood Eagle
7. We Shall Destroy
8. Hel (feat. Messiah Marcolin)
9. Coming of the Tide
10. Warriors of the North

Genre: Death Metal

Record Label: Metal Blade Records

Playing Time: 47 Minutes

Line up:

Johan Hegg − lead vocals
Johan Söderberg − guitars
Olavi Mikkonen − guitars
Ted Lundström − bass
Fredrik Andersson − drums



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