Deceiver of the Gods (Metal Blade Records)
By Rick Ecker
The ninth album from this Viking-influenced melodic death metal band is a brutal lesson in death metal. Amon Amarth continually churn out solid album after solid album, and it’s due mainly to the fact that unlike other metal bands, they’re able to continually replicate their style and excellent writing every time without sounding stale or tired.
The beat of rapid bass drums and the guttural roar of Johan Hegg are all over this album, creating a booming low end with the help of famed producer Andy Sneap. The drumming is a definite standout with fills, power, and incredible melody putting this over the top in excellence. That’s not selling the rest of the band short — the pounding bass, heavy riffs, and terrific solos really stand out as well.
The album grabs you right from the start with the catchy title track, which features well-played riffs and lyrics that truly tell a story. “Under Seige” and “We Shall Destroy” also have that same distinction of drawing you in from the first notes and immersing you in the intensity of the music. “Father of the Wolf” and “Coming of the Tide” have some amazing solos as well and great guttural vocals. “Hel” has that signature Amon Amarth sound and adds vocals from Messiah Marcolin, formerly of Candlemass, which makes the track a must-listen. The album’s closer, “Warriors of the North,” has frustrated some fans with its more than eight-minute running time and being the epic closing track that they weren’t expecting, but the song has some fantastic guitar lines, pulsating bass and drums, and has the album’s finest riffs and most convincing instrumental performances.
Amon Amarth has turned in an album that will please fans. Deceiver of the Gods probably won’t get them a ton of new fans, but the band plays like they love what they’re doing. Go see them live. Drag your friends and show them how great a band they are. These guys deserve your effort. This is a really well-done album that’ll be played to death around my house and will be used to piss off the neighbors.