June 9, 2013

Filthy Music Review - 'Amon Amarth: Deceiver of the Gods'

Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods (2013)

Metal Blade

Review by Jude Felton

When it comes to a new album from those Viking warriors Amon Amarth you aren’t going to get all that much in terms of differing styles from previous albums. I mean, they aren’t going to throw in a section of free-form Jazz, or anything like that. No, what you will get is stirring and impassioned melodic death metal, belted out quite like nothing else.

With this in mind I will say that I was excited to hear new material from the magnificent Swedes. Was I disappointed? Hell no, my friends. Deceiver of the Gods is a huge step up from the good, but not great Surtur Rising (2011), and may well even surpass the lofty heights of 2008’s epic Twilight of the Thunder Gods. This is truly outstanding music with nary a weak track on the album.

Opening with the blistering title track, Deceiver of the Gods sets its stall out early and never lets up. Just wait until the lead kicks in on the second track, As Loke Falls; it’s blow you away. It’s an album that never lets up, as Johan Hegg roars forth songs about Viking battles, the Gods and all that you would expect from Amon Amarth.

We even get treated to guest vocals from the legendary mad monk, Messiah Marcolin on Hel, and it’s fantastic to hear his distinctive voice again. Initially it does play in contrast to Hegg’s guttural roar, but I can assure you on repeat listens it ends up fitting perfectly. This is due, in part, to Andy Sneap’s great production, which allows the music to breathe fire, giving the entire album an energetic and tightly focused feel to it. Aggression and raw passion are the order of the day here, and Amon Amarth deliver in spades. Hell, they don’t deliver as much as annihilate, and I cannot wait to see this material performed on this summer’s Mayhem Fest.

The only real negative for me was that in one of the later tracks there’s a riff that sounds identical to Pantera, which in itself is no bad thing, but seeing as Amon Amarth write great riffs it was a slight shame to get taken out of the album a little.

Regardless, tracks like As Loke Falls, Shape Shifter and We Shall Destroy will indeed destroy. Deceiver of the Gods is an absolutely fantastic album, and it issues a mighty battle-cry to all others out there. Marvelous stuff. Grab your swords and axes, down a flagon of ale, and join me in battle, my friends!

Track List:

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  
9.Coming of the Tide  
10.Warriors of the North  

Deceiver of the Gods is released on June 25th by Metal Blade in a variety of cool editions.