Tumba, Sweden’s melodic death metal powerhouse Amon Amarth has a specific formula that they stick to and we really do not care. There is not much variance to the band. The songs do not vary much in lyrical style, sound, or execution. In fact, most songs feature the same formula and layout. For some reason, we accept it willingly, and people like me simply eat it up. For me, I have talked to the guys in Amon Amarth and they are just fun metalheads that believe every word that is shouted in every verse.
With 2013, we are treated to the latest Amon Amarth opus, “Deceiver of the Gods,” the follow-up to 2011’s “Surtur Rising.” Last year marked two decades of Amon Amarth bringing their unique form of metal to the masses, and with each passing year, they are becoming more and more accepted.
As far as the album goes, the title track, Deceiver of the Gods, is what we all expect from the opening track to any Amon Amarth album. It is fast, powerful and contains melodic elements that only Amon Amarth brings to the table. The middle breakdown features some ultra-powerful backing vocals as well as some sweet melodic guitar parts.
As goes the opening track, As Loke Fails, is what we have come to expect from the second track to their albums. The main riff is a sweet lead-style riff and mixes in with the vocal parts as well as the opening. Shape Shifter is a quicker piece that comes just at the right time. Under Siege quickly follows and brings the more methodical thunderous pounding back.
Blood Eagle is all riff-driven with more driving speed and an amazing chorus. This one is quickly becoming one of my favorite tracks on the album. It is also the shortest clocking in at three and a quarter minutes. We Shall Destroy may be that anthemic song that fans gravitate towards like Guardians of Asgaard was for “Twilight of the Thunder God.” The main guitar riff is so sweet on this one. It is so heavy.
Hel hearkens back to Iron Maiden’s “Powerslave” days with some of the riffs and the chorus that is eerie and sweet. The band even enlisted Candlemass singer, Messiah Marcolin, to do guest vocals on Hel, which is the perfect compliment to Hegg on this one. The closing track, Warriors of the North, is an eight-plus minute opus that is all about the myriad of riffs being thrown at the listener. There are so many cool parts to this song that all I can say is that you have to listen to it.
Overall, Amon Amarth has yet to let me down, and I constantly go back and forth with my favorite album of theirs. I could honestly pick anything from their last 10 years and confidently say that I have called that my favorite album of theirs at some point in recent years. I cannot annoint “Deceiver of the Gods” with that title yet, but I can honestly say that it is an absolutely killer album with no letdowns. If this review swayed you in any way to purchase the album, that would be great, but everyone knows Amon Amarth these days and they were already picking this one up regardless of what I say here. Long love Amon Amarth.
Deceiver of the Gods Track Listing:
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
Amon Amarth Line-up:
Johan Hegg – lead vocals
Olavi Mikkonen – guitar
Ted LundstrÃ¶m – bass
Johan SÃ¶derberg – guitar
Fredrik Andersson – drums