Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods

Amon Amarth
Deceiver of the Gods
Released 24th June 2013
Melodic Death Metal
Released via Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth have been raiding, plundering and pillaging their way through the metal scene since 1998, making a name for themselves with their melodic riffs and Viking-themed lyrics, as well as some truly epic artwork. Deceiver of the Gods is the band’s ninth chapter in their metal renditions of the Norse myths.

The chilling guitar passage of the title track, Deceiver of the Gods, opens up the album before unleashing the fury of the Norse with faster, heavier riffs and Johan’s signature growls. The track is made complete by a near majestic solo. The second track, As Loke Falls, sounds bipolar – switching from roaring guitar sections and heavy vocal lines to monumental, dulcet guitar passages. The album from heavily grandiose pieces to the semi-brutal tracks with memorable choruses and poignant hooks. Johan’s vocals are as gruff and Nordic as they can be, whilst the drums have a certain liveliness to them, given the album a new feel that’s not so familiar within Amon Amarth’s studio material. The bass work thunders down like Thor’s Mjollnir crushing the head of a jotun.

There are more than a few bland songs on the album that fail to entice the ears, Under Siege being the most lacking song – Whilst it’s not a bad track, it misses a lot of the daring excitement and raw energy as found on previous releases. Blood Eagle, the track that follows Under Siege, begins interestingly enough with cries of pain and the sound of body parts being severed but as the track progresses it sounds more like a repeat episode of the previous track. Hel, named after the apparent goddess of the dead and daughter of Loki, has a completely different sound to the rest of the album, using haunting backing vocals and a slower pace for the music. The guest vocals, as provided by Candlemass’s Messiah, also add to the cold and foreboding atmosphere of the song that one would associate with a grim deity like Hel.

Warriors of the North, despite being the final track on the album, is a breath of fresh air on an otherwise stale album. Everything seems to have been taken up a level, from the sharp melodies of the guitars to the titanic bass lines and crushing drum passages, combined with the commanding and bloody vocals and the Iron Maiden-esque riffs. Whilst Warriors of the North is an anthemic way to end the album, one does have to wonder why most of the album isn’t in the same vein as it.

Amon Amarth have become predictable in their sound and their work and Deceiver of the Gods is solid evidence of this. The tracks are good and are typically of Amon Amarth’s style but at the same time they point to how repetitive the band’s music has become. Hopefully this isn’t an indicator to the future sound of Amon Amarth.

2.5/5

Nico Davidson

Amon Amarth online:

http://www.amonamarth.com
http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth
http://twitter.com/amonamarthband
http://deceiver.amonamarth.com

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