Amon Amarth
Deceiver of the Gods
Metal Blade Records
Street: 06.25
Amon Amarth = Arch Enemy + Hypocrisy + Vikings
As one of my friends so cleanly sums it up: “It’s an Amon Amarth record.” Not much has changed in the sound of this Viking horde through the years, aside from their slow descent into much more mainstream-friendly lands, which is where we find ourselves on this new record. Guitars are softer and more melodic—production is crisp and clean. Compare any track on this album to “Death In Fire” and witness the change from grating brutality to the more generic territory they’re conquering now. These are nitpicky points, though, and plenty of fans should enjoy the reliable, Norse mythology–based, melodic death metal that Deceiver brings. It’s not that any band member is failing in his performance, of course—these dudes are consistently talented, and it’s a fun listen. But, between you and me, if you want this type of battle metal without the compromise, turn to Starkill, who are raping and pillaging through the scene with steel and not plastic. –Megan Kennedy