Well, you can pretty much forget about any notions of progression, because Deceiver Of The Gods has “playing it safe” all over it. Sure, you wouldn’t expect any big change in format or anything like that from a genre band such as Amon Amarth, but listless and lifeless are really the only ways to describe Deceiver Of The Gods.
Any sense of weight or power has been excised from Amon Amarth’s delivery on Deceiver Of The Gods. The album’s ten songs are nearly interchangeable with similar riffing, mid-paced tempos that occasionally uptick to a mild gallop, plenty of guitar solos, you name it. None of the tracks stand out and, perhaps even worse, virtually none of the tracks present the listener with any sort of epic sweep (ok, maybe “We Shall Destroy” comes close), a genre necessity when your entire lyrical message glorifies the heathen gods of old.
Usually a reviewer can find at least a couple of positive things to say about a new album from such a veteran band, but, sadly, Deceiver Of The Gods is devoid of such. Even a guest appearance from Messiah Marcolin (ex-Candlemass) on “Hel” falls flat.
If I’m being overly harsh in my assessment of Deceiver Of The Gods, so be it, but my reasoning is twofold. First, although stylistically identical, I found Surtur Rising to be highly enjoyable with great songwriting, so much so that Deceiver Of The Gods was highly anticipated.
Second, I cannot help but now compare Amon Amarth to Ensiferum, a similar band that made the exact same mistake with recent albums that could only be described in a similar manner; that is, listless and lifeless. Some bands reach a plateau and become content to coast. That’s exactly what has happened with Amon Amarth on Deceiver Of The Gods.