Deceiver is the debut full-length album by metalcore band The Word Alive. It was released on August 31, 2010 through Fearless Records. The title derives from a passage of lyrics within the chorus of the song "The Wretched".
With anticipation of the album following up to their critically acclaimed EP Empire, the band promoted the album for several months until leading to its release. It was produced by Andrew Wade and is the first and only release by the band with drummer Justin Salinas, yet final with bassist Nicholas Urlacher and keyboardist, Dusty Riach. A deluxe edition of the record was released on June 7, 2011 and features bonus content consisting of four remixed tracks along with two previously unreleased songs and the music videos for the songs "2012" and "The Wretched".
With anticipation of their full-length debut album after releasing the EP, Empire during the previous year, The Word Alive began work on Deceiver after several US tours. It was recorded during April 2010 in Ocala, Florida with producer Andrew Wade. Guitarist, Zack Hansen explained that "The tracking was a lot of fun and everyone had a good time."Tyler "Telle" Smith noted that "We wanted to step it up in every aspect of our songs compared to Empire. When we're heavy, it's heavier. When we do things big, they are huge! When we slow it down, it's something beautiful."
"Epiphany" was released as the album's first single where it was premiered online. The second single, "The Hounds of Anubis" premiered on the Revolver website. The album features a re-recording of the song "Battle Royale", originally featured as the opening track for Empire. The final track for Empire ("How to Build an Empire") is referenced in a line of lyrics found within the song "Consider It Mutual". Early copies of Deceiver have a typo on the backside of the included booklet which reads "Produced, engineered and by Andrew Wade".
A deluxe edition of Deceiver was released on June 7, 2011 and contains two previously unreleased tracks; "Apologician" and "Lights and Stones" along with the group's two cover songs; "Heartless" and "Over the Mountain". It also features remixes of the songs "The Hounds of Anubis", "The Wretched", and "2012", with "The Hounds of Anubis" being exclusively remixed by Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland along with an unreleased music video for "The Wretched" as well as the "2012" music video. For the convenience of fans that were already in-possession of the hardcopy release of Deceiver, the release of the deluxe edition was only made digitally over iTunes. All extras included on the deluxe edition are available individually.
Deceiver received generally positive reviews by many. Allmusic explained that the album "covers a lot of familiar territory. Where the album gets interesting is in the guitar acrobatics of Tony Pizzuti and Zack Hansen, who like to keep things lightning fast and intricate" and "for anyone looking for metalcore with a couple of surprises here and there, Deceiver should offer a little something new."Alternative Press stated "the relentless drive of so many of the songs found on Deceiver have an urgency and added aggression to them that would make many of their peers recoil out of fear."
Nathan Lay of SMN News expressed that "this is one of those albums that actually becomes increasingly better as it plays through. It seems that most albums lose steam by the time they’re half way through, but not Deceiver." Lay also garnered a comparison of the album to their Empire EP by stating "Hell, the EP is still a worthy metal contender with today’s releases. So how [does] the full length compare? Well fans can stop holding their breath; Deceiver is beast. It’s heavier, more intricate, more powerful, and even more aggressive (lyrically and musically)." Negative reviews or comments of the album were made in dislike to the album's clean (melodic singing) vocals. Lambgoat referred to the singing as "Estrogen enhanced emo [vocals]" and gave it a negative review while stating "Just when you think they've sunk to the deepest depths of commercial mall-metal, the fast guitar flurries are re-re-remixed with stupid sounding synths."