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When we talk about Amon Amarth we are making a reference to one of, if not the greatest, melodic death metal bands nowadays. Those who completely love the sound of the band don't complain a lot about the sound that has been kept the same over the last years, but most of the people said they needed a small change, at least some new sounds, some new guitar riffs, or some new ideas. Of course, they also needed to keep their unique style that made them who they are today, but they couldn't live in the shadow of that glorious recent past. At the right time, Amon Amarth changed the producer from Jens Bogren (who produced three great albums, we must admit) to Andy Sneap, and even though the changes are not very deep, "Deceiver of the Gods" gives us a fresh air from Amon Amarth, a fresh air that was needed.
In the beginning of the album we can listen to a great opening guitar riff that kind of makes us think about what this album can bring to us. Well, we have some things that have been kept the same or that at least remind us of the most recent albums of Amon Amarth, but let's talk about these 'typical things': the warm duels between amazing guitar solos and fast drums, the lyrics, and, of course, almighty Johan's growls. But the thing that really makes me go back in the past is the song "We Shall Destroy". The rhythm reminds me of one of the best songs Amon Amarth has ever made, "Death In Fire". I believe Amon Amarth did well when they made this song, for "Death in Fire" is considered by lots of fans their greatest and most well-written songs ever.
Those small changes that exist in this new album can be confirmed in some songs like "As Loke Falls" with amazing work in the beginning of the song or "Father of the Wolf", that is probably one of the heaviest songs the band has ever made. The music in "Warriors of the North" is the perfect ending for this album, with the great work of the guitars all over the song, but we are already accustomed to great music in the end of each Amon Amarth album, just like "Embrace of the Endless Ocean", "Doom Over Dead Man", and "Prediction of Warfare" (just referring to the most recent albums).
We also have time for a few surprises, like the end of "Under Siege", with good bass work and a smooth sound in the very end of the song. I have always been waiting for Amon Amarth to do something as great and as melodic as this "Under Siege" finale and I am glad they realized that it would fit perfectly in their music. The guest singer for this album is Messiah Marcolin, much different from LG Petrov who had the same role in "Twilight of the Thunder God", in the song "Guardians of Asgaard". In "DOTG", the former singer of doom metal band Candlemass creates an interesting contrast with Johan Hegg, for Messiah's clean vocals are much different from Johan's growls. The song "Hel" becomes interesting because of that. That sick beginning of the song "Blood Eagle" makes me think about the wars all the Vikings have fought, which is exactly what Amon Amarth like to write about.
In the end, this is an album much more focused on the melodies than its ancestor "Surtur Rising", but is much more loose. This album is made not to disappoint the fans, but the opinions I've heard are sometimes too different. However, this album has potential to be in the Top 20 metal albums of the year. They really have strength from the gods that makes them head out to sea with no fear and march to destiny, with no fear or remorse for death or victory.