Shit. Is it that time again already? Another predictable installment of bouncy Melodeath songs about Nordic mythology. Now before any of you Amon Amarth overnighters want to give me shit about giving them shit, just know I was rocking Sorrow Throughout the Nine Worlds while you were stealing money out of your babysitter’s purse to go buy a copy of Three Dollar Bill Ya’ll, so zip that fucking lip. Truth is, I remained happily on board this one trick pony ride up until 2008’s solid Twilight of the Thunder God. But on 2011’s Surtur Rising, I began to detect signs of a band as tired of writing the same song over and over again as I was of hearing it. I liked three cuts on that LP — two of which had the exact same hook, the other being a System of a Down cover. With Deceiver of the Gods, the results aren’t even that promising. At what point did Amon Amarth’s brand of Death Metal become backing music for step aerobics? This is Viking Death Metal Soul Train for fuck’s sake! You think I’m kidding? Cue opening title track: Danceable melodic riff, standard At the Gates beat, double-bass driven chorus with tremolo-picked melody, chug break, rinse and repeat. Next track: Iron Maiden lick, danceable melodic riff, double-bass driven chorus with tremolo-picked melody, chug break, fade out. Next track: Sped up “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” beat, Iron Maiden lick, danceable melodic riff, shout-along chorus… Tired of this yet? Next track: Bouncy melodic chug, verses with same hook as danceable melodic chorus riff. Next: Bouncy melodies, double-bass driven chorus with tremolo-picked melody, upbeat danceable refrain. Next: Holy shit! A sample! Standard At the Gates beat with danceable melodic riff… I’ve already checked out mentally at this point and want to listen to something else. Next: “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” beat not sped up this time, danceable chug with bouncy melodies, White Zombie’s “Thunder Kiss ‘65” riff just slightly altered… Odin help me! Next: “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” beat, bouncy chug, danceable melodic riff, guest Butt Rock vocals from ex-Candlemass dude… That’s it! Done! No more Death Metal for lifelovers! If this isn’t a tired band going through the motions, I don’t know what it is. Johan Hegg’s roar still sounds great —as brutal and intelligible as they come— but he hasn’t said anything new in 17 years! I’m tired of fantasy lyrics and I’m tired of bullshit marketing gimmicks. There are 72 versions of this LP, ranging from 10-song CD to picture disc housed in gunnysack with toboggan, halyard, and mason jar of Ted Lundstrom’s baby teeth. One of the versions comes with a 4-song bonus EP of AA doing parodist renditions of other bands’ styles. That EP should’ve been called, WE’RE FUCKING BORED! These guys need a break, and they need to spend that break listening to Once Sent from the Golden Hall, Versus the World, and With Oden on Our Side on an endless loop.
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