Swedish melodic death metallers AMON AMARTH performed the title track of their ninth studio album, “Deceiver Of The Gods”, live for the first time yesterday (Saturday, June 1) at the Fortarock XL festival at Goffertpark in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be seen below.
Recorded at Backstage Studios in Derbyshire, United Kingdom, and produced, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap (OPETH, MEGADETH, EXODUS, ARCH ENEMY, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE), the follow-up to the band’s critically acclaimed 2011 “Surtur Rising” full-length delivers ten fiery battle hymns made of buzzsaw riffs and epic harmonies all driven by vocalist Johan Hegg‘s commanding Viking roar and absorbing accounts of Norse crusades and treachery.
“Deceiver Of The Gods” comes adorned with another outstanding Tom Thiel-created cover portraying a mythical battle between the Norse Gods Loki and Thor. As an added bonus, Messiah Marcolin (CANDLEMASS) makes an appearance as guest vocalist on eighth track, “Hel”.
“Deceiver Of The Gods” will be released in North America via Metal Blade Records on June 25, in Europe June 24 and Japan on June 26.
Following a run of European festival dates, AMON AMARTH will open the main stage of this year’s edition of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, set to commence June 29 in San Bernardino.
In a recent interview with France’s LoudTV.net, Hegg stated about the recording process for “Deceiver Of The Gods”: “It was pretty much six or seven weeks in January and February this year. So it went pretty quick. But when we went into the studio, we were very well prepared; we had all the songs written, we were well rehearsed. It went really quickly. We didn’t have to change much. Everything was pretty much written. Every time you record something, there’s always gonna be small changes, obviously, with songs, because when you rehearse it, maybe you don’t hear that it didn’t work perfectly, so you have to find another way. Or you come up with an idea of how something could be a little bit better. But all the songs were 99 percent ready, basically.”
Asked if it was weird getting Andy Sneap (MEGADETH, EXODUS, ARCH ENEMY, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE) to produce “Deceiver Of The Gods”, Hegg said: “I don’t think so. I mean, if you know where Andy comes from — HELL and SABBAT. He kind of has the same musical background as us; we were listening to the same stuff. And for us, we realized that his style of producing would fit the band. So when we decided to go for a new producer, Andy was a pretty definite choice, because we liked the stuff that he’s done recently with ACCEPT, for instance, and KREATOR, and we felt that he could contribute something to our sound, and I think he did; I think it was a good choice. It was good for us to work with [previous producer] Jens [Bogren], but you know, after three albums, it felt like we needed a new challenge, a new voice in the whole production. For us, it felt natural to go with Andy. Especially after meeting him the first time… We were actually on tour and we met him in Wales. We just sat down and had a couple of beers and talked, and I think we hit it off straight away; it really felt good. So I think it was a good choice to work with Andy; he’s a great producer and I think he did a perfect job.”
Regarding whether Sneap has made AMON AMARTH sound more dynamic on the new album, Hegg said: “I think so. I think that the whole recording process, and the sound, and everything, is more organic, it feels more ‘live,’ [there’s] a better groove to it than with Jens. I mean, Jens is a great producer — he has a very, very good ear for music — but somehow his productions are a little bit too clinical sometimes; they’re too bang-on. I mean, some people love that. I wanna have that little groovy… so you get that live feeling, and I think that’s important for a band like us as well. So I think it was a good choice to work with Andy for this album. Especially, also, when you consider the material that we had. There is a bit more groove to it, there is more ups and downs in the tempo, and I think it’s easier to get that across if you do, as I said, a more organic, more natural flow kind of recording. Like I said, great job from him, and I’m glad that we lived up to it as well. [laughs]”
On the topic of whether “Deceiver Of The Gods” is AMON AMARTH‘s most diverse album to date, Hegg said: “I think so, yeah. And I think that’s going back to what I said before — that we decided to let our influences shine through a lot more than we used to in the past. I mean, our influences have always been there, but we always kind of tried to keep them on the low side, not too evident, but now we let them come up in the production much more, and I think that was a good choice because it definitely gave the album a wide range.”
“Deceiver Of The Gods” track listing:
01. Deceiver Of The Gods
02. As Loke Falls
03. Father Of The Wolf
04. Shape Shifter
05. Under Siege
06. Blood Eagle
07. We Shall Destroy
09. Coming Of The Tide
10. Warriors Of The North
“Deceiver Of The Gods” (song) performance:
“Deceiver Of The Gods” (song) studio version:
“Shape Shifter” audio stream: