Amon Amarth – “Deceiver Of The Gods”

Amon Amarth – “Deceiver Of The Gods” (Metal Blade Records)

With over 20 years under their belts and this being their 9th album, Sweden’s Amon Amarth are now their nation’s premier Viking death metal band. Continuing their style pretty much uninterrupted “Deceiver Of The Gods” has the same sound that we’ve all come to recognize and love from Johan Hegg’s deep growling vocals to the swashbuckling guitars of Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg, not forgetting Fredrik Andersson’s relentless power drumming! Conceptually focusing this time on the mischievous Norse god Loki, there may be something in this as well as the album’s title as although possessing a more dynamic and ‘live’ production songs like ‘Father Of The Wolf’ and ‘Blood Eagle’ see the band moving into a more heavy metal sphere. It’s still Amon Amarth no doubt, but the melodies, arrangements and even harmonies seem to give a nod to some of Maiden and Accept’s swaggering grooves. If that wasn’t coincidence, then none other than Candlemass’s legendary Messiah Marcolin provides guest vocals on the slow n heavy ‘Hel’. It’s a very prudent move indeed and subtly intended to add even more mainstream metal fans to their swelling legions on their monstrous tours. Nevertheless, there’s still something for fans of Amon Amarth’s more traditional high speed rape n pillage in ‘Coming Of The Tide’ with all it’s Nordic brutality meets melody proving that the band after all these years have not forgotten their roots and are still more than able to shake it!

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