Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods by Ellen Norvang

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Metal Blade Records
Band Website: www.amonamarth.net

Band line-up:
Johan Hegg − lead vocals
Johan Söderberg − guitars
Olavi Mikkonen − guitars
Ted Lundström − bass
Fredrik Andersson − drums

Tracklist:
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”
8. “Hel”
9. “Coming of the Tide”
10. “Warriors of the North”

Review:
With Oden always on their side Swedish Amon Amarth continues to tell tales from the Viking days. Usually Viking metal tends to be a tad silly, but the Swedes somehow know how to make it cool and have succeeded to reach a bigger metal crowd.

Therefore Amon Amarth sits on the Viking metal throne- whether they like to be categorised like that or not. They can’t escape the fact that visually and lyrically the theme hasn’t changed throughout the band’s long career.

Considering “Deceiver of the Gods” is the band’s ninth release it may seem like there is not much left to be said and Vikings can only inspire you so much before the air runs out of the balloon. This tends to unfortunately have some truth to it on the band’s latest release. Musically the band has sounded rawer on previous releases.

There is definitely brutality behind the melodic death metal, but it seems like the choruses lack a bit of power that previous releases contained. “Deceiver of the Gods” has a clean cut to it and sounds a lot more smooth which makes Amon Amarth sound a bit boring and way too polished. The songs have a hard time standing out and even though leadvocalist, Johan Hegg, does an amazing job the lack of trenchant choruses overshadows.

It seems like the Swedes can’t do anything musically wrong and that is because nothing really changes. Lyrics and music will always be the same and that is exactly why fans stick along. Don’t fix what ain’t broken and no one will complain.

The track “Hel” features guest vocals by Candlemass’ Messiah Marcolin and on this track things get interesting. Evil death metal and melodic rock unites and it is a nice break from the blasting and heroic screaming.

A death metal band about Vikings might be geeky, but Amon Amarth can please a big crowd with their fierce melodies and sometimes catchy choruses and if the lyrics are a bit too ridiculous for most people’s taste you can’t hide the fact that the music wins you over 100% whether you are into death or power metal.

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