Let’s everyone give Amon Amarth a round of applause for reaching it to nine albums. They’ve been plugging away nearly 25 years now and they’re really coming into their stride now with some of their more recent releases. 2008’s ‘Twilight Of The Thunder Gods’ got them in Metal Hammer‘s good books, and whilst 2011’s ‘Surtur Rising’ wasn’t spectacular, it was enough to maintain their presence at the forefront of many tours. ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ is more of the same; Viking themed melodic death metal powered by beer and beards.
‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ is a funny record. On first playback, it doesn’t really sound like Amon Amarth too much, but on further inspection all the key elements are still there. There are plenty of mentions of Odin, a few songs about fighting, and there’s even a song called ‘Hel’. You can definitely envision someone (most probably frontman, Johan Hegg) raging through a battlefield in arctic conditions, slicing demons in half with his mighty sword. ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ is like the soundtrack to Game Of Thrones written by metalheads, and whilst that may be an easy statement to make, it’s certainly true.
There’s no reinventing of the wheel with ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’, but there are certain things that make it seem rather un-Amon Amarth-y. It’s not until the final track ‘Warriors Of The North’ that there’s a really good Viking anthem that will cause the repeat button to feel violated. It might be that Amon Amarth are playing it safe, but songs like ‘We Shall Destroy’ and ‘Shape Shifter’ just aren’t that interesting. Maybe it’s a gross overjudgement of what metalheads want in their music, but if ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ was released by any other band it would probably cause them to fade into obscurity.
The title-track is what you’ll be hearing at shows, but it’ll probably be championed for a while before it fades into the mid-set and eventually dumped. For some fans, ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’ will play over and over on the CD player, but for the older Amon Amarth fans maybe it’d be best to just listen to ‘Warriors Of The North’.
Written by MG Savage