On Tuesday, death metal legends Deicide released their new album “In The Minds of Evil”. We previewed the single a couple of months back when it was leaked ( http://firstorderhistorians.com/2013/10/01/new-deicide-single-leaked-in-the-minds-of-evil-title-track-from-album-to-be-released-november-25th/ ) but today we’ve decided to take a look at how the entire record shapes up compared to their long and storied history of double kick pounding and bible bashing.
As a Christian, the idea of Deicide is something that fascinates me because I highly doubt these dudes are into some seriously Satanic shit. I think they say things and phrase things a certain way to get a rise out of people, and it works. I don’t really believe that the guys in Deicide leave their house every morning out to legitimately convince people that they believe the devil is a red, horned alien looking weirdo that is rooting for you to watch more porn. Those guys want to show the world who can really play metal, and they want you to very much understand that it’s them.
They’re also a band that I can honestly say I like almost all of their records. I’ve been hooked on then since 1997 because at the time I started listening to their stuff, I was playing in this sort of thrash thing that never came to fruition – and it my first time being in a band where I was the drummer. While the rest of Deicide might have seemed like cool guys, Steve Aschiem behind a drum set just sounded like he’s a bad person. I remember hearing the opening twenty seconds of “Bastards of Christ” and going “Holy shit…I’ve never heard anything like this before…” Then I remember going to see them live, seeing the Hoffman brothers wander onto the stage and thinking “One of those guys has to be the drummer…” Alas, I was wrong – a guy that possessed much less build was about to step forth and beat the shit out of that kit they set up for him.
The great thing about this record (as I said in the single piece) is how the newer Deicide records seem to really effectively utilize the sound of the cabinets more than the earlier albums. They are more concerned with a total guitar sound as opposed to just simply creating the sharpest thing they can find to stab you with. This is very apparent on the opening cut – the title track I mentioned earlier, and on into the next song “Thou Be Gone”. The really impressive drumming kicks in about 40 seconds through, and grabs you by your sorry balls. But not only do we hear the earsplitting sounds of the death metal underbelly, there are also moments (although brief) of a lot of ambitious sounding guitar patterns.
The rest of the record kind of alternates between a lot of classic death metal themes and newer-school death metal melodic evil, but more than your standard “Devil’s Note” stuff. (In other words, more melodic than in the past) And they keep it simple – there isn’t a track on this record that is over four minutes long. The energy level remains constant throughout the CD, with some of the more aggressive vocals coming towards the end. As usual, the topics don’t stray far from the typical Deicide themes. After all, their name means “Killing of a God”, so that’s to be expected. But I see a lot of this stuff as hypothetical. Much in the same way that on “Serpents of the Light” the guys entertain the idea of the living world to be hell, tracks like “Even the Gods can Bleed” don’t so much encourage the behavior as much as they suggest it and you get the feeling it’s done out of pure enjoyment instead of a personal belief system.
Okay, so maybe “Kill The Light of Christ”, “End the Wrath of God”, and “Trample The Cross” are a bit much. But where I feel Deicide probably gets dismissed by a lot of potential listeners as “a bit much” is the lyrics. That argument works when dismissing a band’s work…if they are sloppy. I think that we could all agree these guys are one of the tightest bands in the world, and there’s no sense in arguing otherwise.
My only real complaint per se would be that I’ve always hoped for a little bit more variation in Glen’s vocals. I know it’s not likely that will ever happen, I just know he’s capable of some of the black metal type screams and I feel like I haven’t really gotten those out of him. I guess I’m a little biased here because I am probably a bigger Cannibal Corpse fan than Deicide, and I figure Nathan Explosion…er…George Fisher was always able to do the high register, blood curdling screams so why not Glen? But perhaps that’s a bad comparison, as although the two groups will always be associated with each other, they are still different and Benton’s goal has always been to make the most brutal death metal in the world. And he’s been able to do that whilst staying within the death metal realm.
To make a long story short here you’re not going to see any of these guys quit this band and become youth pastors, and that’s fine. This is real death metal, and real death metal deals in extremes. Just like your local spa treatment outlet will never install a fountain of Red Bull, Deicide is not going to be making a concept record out of the King James Version of the Bible. It’s not their best release, but they keep making good records that are hard to stray away from. Can’t give it an 8, but it’s just short.