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Amon Amarth have been on a face ripping spree for years now, and they’ve yet to misstep since the incredible With Oden On Our Side. Their ninth album Deceiver Of The Gods is no different, proving Amon Amarth to again be the complete masters of their craft. Whilst a lot of people are going to proclaim this as more of the same (never a bad thing with these guys), I would say that there are a few elements added to the melting pot which help keep this from being Surtur Rising MK II or Twilight Of The Thunder God MK II.
From the get go I’d say one of the main factors which helps differ this release are the glossy, expertly articulated riffs, which are without a doubt the most refined I’ve heard Amon Amarth sound in this department. I feel this is what they’ve been building up to since at least Thunder God, with the melodic, Iron Maiden style elements really becoming more apparent in their sound. I’d also say the lead guitars – which have, and will likely always be relatively minimalistic – sound their finest here. Another interesting element, which I think will likely remain personal to Deceiver Of The Gods is Messiah Marcolin’s guest vocal slot on “Hel”. His vocals are really well integrated alongside Johan Hegg’s growls, definitely breaking some new ground for the band with some excellent middle eastern vibes largely brought to the table via Messiah’s vocals.
On the subject of vocals, I have to say Johan Hegg sounds without a doubt the finest he ever has. His growls are crisp, perfectly decipherable and sound flat-out great. As for the rest of the band, well this is Amon Amarth and at this point in their career it’s clear they’re masters of their craft. All of the songs bring something to the table, from rip-roaring smokers like “Coming Of The Tide” and “Blood Eagle” with it’s Slayer style swagger to cracking melodic numbers like “As Loke Falls” all a way to the epic closer “Warriors Of The North” which nigh on steals the show right at the end.
For this being their ninth full-length I’d say Amon Amarth sound exactly where they want to be in their career. There are enough newer elements on Deceiver Of The Gods to keep this from being a mere rehash of x album, and the performances are as hungry and potent as they have ever been. Certainly one of the better albums I’ve heard this year, I can’t think of any reason why you shouldn’t pick this up.