It’s sometimes quite painful to see how the whole early US Death Metal scene has basically fallen apart, with bands like CANNIBAL CORPSE having run out of ideas a long time ago, MORBID ANGEL running out of steam (and riffs), OBITUARY opting out (at least for a couple of years) and DEICIDE basically just running into a rut. Well, lo and behold, these not-so-merry Metallers are back to their very back on this one! Make no bones about it – this IS the best DEICIDE album since “Legion” and in many ways it is even better than that one. Some might say this is just me spouting hyperbole, but this is a truly impressive effort from these guys and it will instantly erase the memories of the atrocities like “In Torment In Hell” and the much-overrated “comeback” “Scars Of The Crucifix”.
Yes, even with 25% of the band now being Catholic (insert joke about band hypocrisy here), this new revamped DEICIDE line-up have delivered the goods – Benton sounds really pissed off again instead of just running through the motions, Steve Asheim’s drumming is blisteringly fast, while newcomers Jack Owen and Ralph Santolla inject some much-needed dynamism and oomph into the unit. Kicking off with the title track, a high standard is set, with furious growls, groovy (I mean that positively!) verse sections and heavy, crunchy riffing all over the place. The very melodic soloing might bulk some at first, but it really adds another layer of intricacy to the band’s sound. “Death To Jesus” is another scorcher with more subtle melodies and thunderous drumming. I can basically do a track-by-track analysis, but I would just be repeating myself – all that needs to be said is that these songs are the best, heaviest, most melodic (subtly) and blood-curdling from the band in many, many years. “Crucified For The Innocence” is a great song with some very DISMEMBER-esque melodies and choruses, while the advance track “Homage For Satan” is a winner from start to finish with its simple (but oh so effective) main riff and growls. The video for that track kicks ass too!! “Not Of This Earth” sees the band going Thrash on our asses, while the closer, “The Lord’s Sedition” is an eerie song that breaks into utter heaviness after the opening melodies – much the same as IMMOLATION’s “Christ’s Cage” off their “Here In After” album…
After “Serpents Of The Light” I have really kind of given up on this band, but after just one listen this new offering gave me a swift blow to the head and demanded my attention. Everything you’ve ever wanted (back) in DEICIDE is present here in spades, as well as some new but very welcome elements (primarily due to the new axe-duo, that kicks the living hell out of anything the Hoffman’s could ever muster), like technical riffing, very Heavy Metal-like solos and a renewed sense of urgency and energy. Unlike the case with the new DISSECTION, this is a band re-discovering their balls and the result is one of the best albums of the year by the most improved band of the year.
Yes, they have redeemed themselves!!! Now excuse me while I finish scraping my eardrums off the walls and my jaw off the floor…
(Online November 9, 2006)