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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

What a return

It's painfully obvious to all that I've been a bit stretched for time this year, and haven't given nearly as much love to my review-based wafflings. However, every now and again an album comes along that makes one sit up, take note, and punch a fan of Mumford & Sons. 

Deceiver Of The Gods, the latest album from Swedish melodic death titans Amon Amarth, is such an album. It sat in my inbox for a good few days before I got around to throwing it into my ears and as a result, I hate myself. I should have been listening to this lump of melodeath perfection from the second it landed.

The opening title track sets the pace in classic Amarth guitar harmony fashion and as you'd expect, vocalist Johan Hegg tears into the song like only a big fucking Viking could. Vocally, there's not a vast amount of development from Sultur Rising, or indeed any of Amon Amarth's previous eight studio albums, but there is a reduction in the phlegmy oral growl that often underpinned the archetypal guitar sound, meaning a cleaner but no less sinister vocal.

Song two, Blood Eagle, opens with the sound of a man being brutally stabbed. Metal. But once the nastiness has subsided, Father Of The Wolf comes along with a distinctly Iron Maiden feel. There's no fantastical drum work or excessively complicated guitar widdling here; it's just an absolutely stunning heavy metal song. Simple as that.

From this point it's non-stop. Massive, massive riffs, singalong choruses and devastatingly good harmonies combine to make this one of the most epic releases this year. As Loke Falls sits alongside Cry Of The Blackbirds in the 'I Didn't Know Death Metal Could Ever Be This Catchy' top ten of all time, and closing number We Shall Destroy is full of the ire and imagery that only this band can create.

Deciever... has no bad songs. It is quite possibly the best thing Amon Amarth have ever released (as agreed a matter of minutes ago with a good pal of mine). It's more polished than previous outings and has a huge amount more melody than we've seen from the lads in the past yet it still manages to be crushingly heavy.

If you haven't heard this album yet, go and buy it, stream it, steal it (don't steal it, you dick), do whatever you have to do to get it into your life. It's better than whatever you're listening to at the moment. Fact.