Amon Amarth is a melodic death metal band from Sweden, who have received much praise and attention since their formation in the early ’90s. Since 1998, they have released a total of eight albums, and have toured with several big names in extreme metal, such as Marduk, Morbid Angel, and Dimmu Borgir. Their music is notable for its technical style, sheer brutality, and viking lyrical themes. Their latest album, Deceiver of the Gods, is perhaps their best work to date.
To begin, the album’s production work is phenomenal. Producer Andy Sneap’s work ensures a smooth and enjoyable listen all throughout. Suffice it to say, the production sound is clean, evenly distributed and pro quality. As far as the music department, Amon Amarth fails to disappoint. From beginning to end, the songs are marked by technical riffing, imaginative lyrics, blazing guitar solos, and fast-paced tempos. There is also an abundance of variation to be found, with different song structures, distinguishing guitar riffs and progressive qualities. Best of all, there are so many hooks and catchy riffs that the music becomes very addicting and quickly memorable. In short, the music sounds lovingly composed, technically well done and deliberately conceived.
For example, the title track begins with an epic-sounding intro before leading into a crushing, headbanging anthem that makes for great moshing material. As the album progresses, the second track “As Loke Falls,” begins with an atmospheric finger-tapped guitar solo that leads into a fast-paced melodic masterpiece. The next track “Father of the Wolf” contains an extravagant chorus, an intricate guitar solo and impressive single note action. And lastly, the song “Hel” is a good track to spotlight as it contains guest vocals by ex-Candlemass vocalist Messiah Marcolin.
To sum up, Amon Amarth have composed a successful collection of melodic death metal with Deceiver of the Gods. With near-perfect music, there is little to complain about and so much to discover. If you’re looking to become more acquainted with the melodic death metal subgenre, this really isn’t a bad place to start.