Thursday, August 12, 2010

Deicide - The Stench of Redemption


Usually, when there is a shit-ton of reviews for a record with a stupidly high average score, I usually find the record to be overrated, and thus I come in to stomp some skull. Well you know what? For once, all of these people are right, this is an astonishing record.

I'm not gonna lie, I've never been a big Deicide fan, so as soon as the chick at the register of my local Best Buy (it's the only place with music around me, no record stores) scanned the album, I decided I probably should've just given the new Overkill a shot. Needless to say, the album went in my car and caused me to rapidly headbang in the parking lot for about three songs. The one thing this album has over their earlier works, is the addition of Ralph Santolla and his wonderful melodic style of leadwork. The Hoffman's were integral early on in the band's career, but it is obvious now that their departure has done nothing positive work for Deicide, as I find Santolla's fretwork to be far superior.

I wouldn't call this a return to form sonically, but definitely in quality. As mentioned, this album is kind of like the earlier brutality but with a big, heaping coat of melody on the top. This change may seem slightly jarring to old school Deicide fans or assholes, but I welcome it with open arms. Fear not, there are monotone vocals, tremolo riffs, and blast beats aplenty to satisfy the long time fans. As much as I hate Glen Benton, he does an interesting technique with his vocals here were he layers over his deep indecipherable growls with a higher pitched scream that helps add understanding to the lyrics and also add yet another spice to our goulash of blasphemy.

No songs are bad, but I find the weakest to be Desecration and The Lord's Sedition. Death to Jesus may well be my favorite, with an incredibly sense of melody rivaling anything else present. I'd like Homage for Satan a teensy bit more if they didn't succumb to the temptation to rip of Scream Bloody Gore with the opening riff, otherwise it's also one of the best tracks. My copy has a cover of Deep Purple's Black Night, which the site tells me only 4000 copies have, so I guess I'm kind of special. The lyrics aren't printed in the booklet and I can't understand Benton for the life of me, so I don't know what these super secret "rewritten lyrics" are, but it's a fun cover nonetheless.

When all is said and done, what we have here is a solid Deicide release on par with the first two records, although in a different style. The standout performance here is clearly Santolla's lead guitar work, with a runner up award to Asheim's vicious drumming. Highly recommended. For once, a slew of positive reviews is right on the money.

RATING - 95%

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