Artist: Amon Amarth
Title: Deceiver of the Gods
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 21st June 2013
Label: Metal Blade/Sony Music
“I have said to gods and the sons of gods
What my mind was amused to say:
But now I shall go, for I know your rages,
With Thor I'm afraid to fight.
Ale have you brewed, Aegir, but never
Will you give a feast again:
My flames play over all you possess,
Already they burn your back.”
-excerpt from the translation of Lokasenna [The flyting of Loki] within the Poetic Edda-
‘Deceiver of the Gods’ is AMON AMARTH´s ninth album within their more than two decades lasting career. Of course, the Edda and the North Mythology is their reference for creativity and themes of Vikings, Einherjer and their gods are ingredients of the lyrics. Especially Loki is the one who is revisited as the ‘Deceiver of the Gods’.
Anyhow Johann Hegg won´t see Loki as only “the evil one of the gods” like there is a god in other mythologies: “I think what’s intriguing about him is that he’s probably the most human of all the gods in northern mythology. A lot of people see him as an evil character, but he’s not the equivalent of Satan. He also does a lot of good things, and particularly with his talent for diplomacy he manages to get the gods out of trouble a lot of times. The only problem is that he’s usually the one that gets them into trouble in the first place! I just think he is really engaging in that he possesses a lot of human traits in the sense that we can do good and bad. We can be fantastic people and great people and huge people, and we can be very, very small people. We can be small minded and egocentric and devious and all of those negative things, and I like how he reflects that.”
First of all, while listening to this release it becomes clear that AMON AMARTH wanted to create an album that is even more aggressive and rougher than its predecessors without losing their own typical style. One might say that all this stuff is regurgitated – whether it´s the subject of Vikings or the way of AMON AMARTH´s interpretation. Well, it´s matter of fact that those Swedish guys exactly know what to do – although the composing of “Deceiver of the Gods” is not that “catchy” as its predecessor ‘Surtur Rising’, AMON AMARTH still is capable to merge of several metal genres while adhering their basement with Death Metal.
For ‘Deceiver of the Gods’, AMON AMARTH hired the legendary producer Andy Sneap, well known for several albums of CATHEDRAL, ARCH ENEMY, and CRADLE OF FILTH. Hegg explains: “We wanted more of a live feeling to the recording and we felt that Andy’s style of producing could definitely help us with that. At the same time, knowing the records he worked on previously we felt he could probably help develop our sound so it became a little bit more angry and dangerous, without that polished sheen of our recent records.” According to that “improvement” as you can say so, it´s remarkable how Johan Hegg´s vocals improved in the very last years. It seems that the vocal coaching fulfills the plans and I´m quite astonished how melodic growls and grunts can be.
A certain delicacy is Hegg´s duet with Messiah Marcolin of CANDLEMASS: “The idea of doing something with him came up quite a long time ago, and we were waiting for the song that it would best work on,” Hegg explains. “When we started getting the basics down for ‘Hel’, we felt it would be a perfect song for him to contribute to. The way it came together was very natural. We sent him a rough version with my vocals and he worked his own on top of that and around the music. I think our contrasting styles work together brilliantly, and it’s really exciting for us to have that on the record.”
‘Deceiver of the Gods’ is a harsh album, with almost no time to breathe and relax. It´s like a barrage of aggression and anger, full of well composed and even complex songs. Nevertheless, my favourite album still is “Surtur Rising”, but with their new release AMON AMARTH still prove that there´s no other band that deserves to ascend the throne of (Death) Metal… Highly recommended!
01. Deceiver Of The Gods
02. As Loke Falls
03. Father Of The Wolf
04. Shape Shifter
05. Under Siege
06. Blood Eagle
07. We Shall Destroy
09. Coming Of The Tide
10. Warriors Of The North
Johan Hegg - Vocals
Olavi Mikkonen - Guitar
Johan Söderberg - Guitar
Ted Lundström - Bass
Fredrik Andersson - Drums
http://www.amonamarth.com / http://www.facebook.com/amonamarthband
Total: 9 / 10