DEICIDE is a band I’ve never bothered to get into. Now there are a few reasons for that, first being my allergy towards the rather childishly Satanic lyrics. I’ve got no real beef with some Satanic imagery in lyrics, but DEICIDE has also been a bit too over-the-top for my tastes. Secondly, my brutal Death Metal fandom was limited to just a handful of bands – mostly MORBID ANGEL, VADER and CANNIBAL CORPSE – until just recently, when I had an awakening of sorts (thank you HAIL OF BULLETS).
So here I sit, with a fresh and exciting outlook on brutal Death Metal, and what should fall into my review pile but the latest DEICIDE platter, “Till Death Do Us Part” – the band’s best effort at recording an album of wedding tunes – just kidding. First thing I did with this review is head on over to Metal Archives and check out the lyrics, wondering how annoying I’d find them. Well, I must say the lyrics are pretty damned annoying, but not because of the Satan-shtick. Ol’ Glen Benton still makes it well known that he’s not one of Christianity’s biggest fans, but many of the lyrics on “Till Death Do Us Part” focus on some sort of juvenile break-up that obviously involved a lot of bickering. I soon learned that these deal with the band’s separation from the Hoffman brothers, but they could have just as easily been about Benton’s girlfriend ditching him in junior high. It’s no real matter though, as you won’t be able to understand most of what comes out of Benton’s monotone vocalized mouth anyway. I’ve read about Benton being a rather boring vocalist, and it’s certainly true as his tone never waivers a bit. Okay, that’s not entirely true, as I’m pretty sure his vocals are a bit lower in “Horror In The Halls Of Stone”, but that’s about as far as it goes.
Now, it might sound like I’m working at piling on the criticism of “Till Death Do Us Part”, but I’d be lying if I tried to make it sound like a bad album, which it is not. Musically, I may not call the album exciting, per se, but it certainly has its moments. For the most part the listener is treated to sturdy brutal Death Metal with a healthy helping of blasts and atonal solos and leads. Don’t expect KRISIUN-like six-string heroics, but more along the lines of mid-period MALEVOLENT CREATION. The solos are used to solid effect, complimenting the songs without taking over. The bass, also handled by Benton of course, is a lot like his vocals – there but unimpressive. And as for the songwriting, I must say that “Till Death Do Us Part” is more straightforward than I expected, lending the album some catchiness I honestly didn’t see coming.
After a few spins of “Till Death…”, I’m thinking that DEICIDE may actually be a better band if their iconic frontman were to, well, no longer be in the band. Nearly – actually all – of my complaints about the new slab of DEICIDE death are focused on Benton’s weaknesses. The rest of the band is in top form. However, despite my complaints, “Till Death Do Us Part” is still an enjoyable listen of no frills Death Metal that’s content with making you bang your head rather than think too much, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
(Online August 15, 2008)