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HARDWARES

AMON AMARTH

Deceiver Of The Gods

(Metal Blade Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 8.5

Deceiver Of The Gods absolutely crushes. AMON AMARTH’s ninth full-length release is by far the Swedes’ best effort to date. Produced by famed knob-twirler Andy Sneap, he achieves a very live and vibrant sound. In fact, drummer Fredrik Andersson recorded his parts while playing live with the band in the studio. The band has remained consistent throughout its 21-year career, thus proving that there’s still a wealth of material about Vikings and Norse mythology to write about. Keeping with that tradition, Deceiver Of The Gods focuses on Loke, the trickster God. ’Shape Shifter,’ which refers to Loke’s ability to transform himself into another shape or form, relies on a mid-paced chugging riff and melodic leads to propel the song. The title track begins with a majestic guitar melody that soon segues into a full-on thrash assault. It treads on very familiar Amon Amarth territory with Johan Hegg’s gruff vocals and Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Söderberg’s harmonized twin guitar leads. IRON MAIDEN has always been a big influence on Amon Amarth and the British band’s trademark melodies creep up often on Deceiver of the Gods, most notably on ‘As Loke Falls, ‘Father of the Wolf’ and ‘Under Siege.’ Amon Amarth has used guest vocalists on previous releases (minus Surtur Rising), but getting CANDLEMASS' Messiah Marcolin to guest on ‘Hel’ was an excellent move, as Marcolin’s distinctive style and haunting vocal melodies flow like a KING DIAMOND/MERCYFUL FATE song. ‘Blood Eagle’ has an ’80s thrash sound akin to early TESTAMENT, due to Hegg’s best Chuck Billy bellow. Even ‘We Shall Destroy is a mid-paced Bay Area-ish chugger. There’s so much cohesiveness in the songwriting and the guitar melodies really drive the songs. You know what you’re getting with an Amon Amarth release, and Deceiver Of The Gods doesn’t disappoint.



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