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Album Review: AMON AMARTH Deceiver of the Gods

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As the Norsemen crossed the North Sea, they dreamt of a time when they would conquer their entire realm in an effort to please their Gods and obtain the ultimate glory of death in battle. I can only imagine the dulcet tones of Amon Amarth were unknowingly raging in the back of their minds as the stories of recent conquests became legend. Though they did not possess a soundtrack as intense as the metal their shores ultimately bore, the stories of their Gods and history are the fodder for the original ‘viking metal’ band.

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Two decades ago, before naming your band with a Tolkien reference became gauche, Amon Amarth began what would define their career in metal with the demo Thor Arise. At the time, only a few other bands sampled the themes they were destined to champion; their music seemed to flow naturally from their antiquity. By the time Once Sent From the Golden Hall was released on their major label home Metal Blade, it solidified their Viking presence within the death metal arena.

A review of any Amon Amarth album is like critiquing your latest sexual encounter: no matter how ugly, fat, insane or sloppy it might have been, you still got laid. There has never been a poorly done record from this band, and Deceiver of the Gods will not be the one that changes that quotient. Working with producer Andy Sneap, who seems to be able to capture some of the finest points of the bands he works with (Arch Enemy, Unearth, Dimmu Borgir), allows the pure aggressive push of their sound to flow seamlessly through this album, without altering the way the music is presented.

Don’t expect a conceptually different or obscure album, they are not reaching to new depths of experimentation, but no one would want to hear that anyway. If you would like to define this album as a concept record, that might be possible in the lyrical theme of the trickster Norse god Loki, and the legends surrounding his story, legend and role surrounding the end of the world. Even the cover of the record, which is pretty epic in its own right, depicts the final battle between the Gods and Loki during Ragnarok.

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Deceiver of the Gods is a straight forward death metal album, featuring some great riffs, old fashioned driving musical force, and a nice interlude with Candlemass singer Messiah Marcolin, even an excellent bit of brutal chopping of flesh for the song ‘Blood Eagle.’ Exactly what should be expected from a consistent band like Amon Amarth, they will be the highlight of the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival this year, without a doubt.

7.5 / 10

Stream the entire album here.

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