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Amon Amarth
Deceiver of the Gods
Type: CD
Company: Metal Blade
Release: 2013
Genre: Death
Reviewer: Greg Watson
Published: 7/19/2013
Melody and malicious riffing
Those of us metal heads that are a fan of all things death metal are well acquainted with Amon Amarth, the warriors of Sweden. For years, these Nordic metallers have been pummeling skulls and causing ears to bleed with their brand of sonic, melodic death metal. "Deceiver of the Gods", their latest release, delivers the band's best album yet to date.

From the outset, "Deceiver" brings the goods and then some. Drawing their lyrical inspiration from the history of the Vikings and their mythology, Amon Amarth tells a story on each album that encapsulates the listener and transports them straight to the interior of Valhalla. Melodic and anthemic, the title track immediately goes straight for the jugular. With incredibly heavy riffs, melodic guitar choruses and vocalist Johan Hegg's black/death vocals assaulting your ears, it's a hell of a way to start off the album.

And just when you think there's no way they can top that, "As Loke Falls" begins and renews the aural assault. Track for track, there isn't a bad song on this album. Guitarists Olavi Mikkonen and Johan Soderberg combine melody and malicious riffing to give you some of the best melodic death metal guitar work that is out there currently. Drummer Fredrik Andersson and bassist Ted Lundstrom bring up the rhythm section and equal the brutality and tempo of the guitar duo, giving you the perfect balance and accompaniment to the guitars.

The thing that's always fascinated me with Amon Amarth is their use of Norse Mythology to use in their songwriting process and bringing those legends back into the mainstream as ways of tying their songs together into a giant, epic adventure. Listening to an Amon Amarth album is akin to watching a Lord of the Rings movie or any mythologically based film. It really is an experience reading the lyrics and listening to the album. You at times feel as though you are by Odin's side or lurking in the shadows in the presence of gods.

The production on the album is some of the clearest and tightest that I've heard on a death metal album in quite a while. There are so many producers who focus on the vocals and guitars and don't even bother to try and tie everything together. But when you use producer extraordinaire Andy Sneap, this is exactly the production that you get. And with that perfect production and the quality of the album, this is the band's best work to date. If you're unsure of this, check out the songs "Deceiver of the Gods", "Blood Eagle" and "Hel".

Failing to pick up this album would be a grave mistake and one that will leave you kicking yourself for not picking up the best death metal album so far from this year. "Deceiver of the Gods" is going to be hard to top as far as death metal releases go and will definitely be in my Top 5 of the year. So do yourself a favor and go pick this one up.
About this Writer:
Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: AMON AMARTH
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Deceiver of the GodsAmon Amarth
2013
Greg Watson7/19/2013
JomsvikingAmon Amarth
2016
Greg Watson4/16/2016
Twilight of the Thunder GodAmon Amarth
2008
Raising Iron3/6/2009
With Oden On Our SideAmon Amarth
2006
Eric Compton10/13/2006


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: AMON AMARTH

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ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: AMON AMARTH
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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