2019 will mark 30 years of blasphemy, heresy and all round renouncing of any religious faith from Tampa, Florida death metal outfit Deicide. The name alone makes an instant impression – the killer of a god. They’re not famous for giving too much of a shit about what anyone thinks and they have most definitely lived up to their name during a career paved with violent, unrelenting, unapologetic heavy-as-all-hell death metal, more often than not aimed directly at the degradation of religion. Their debut self-titled record from 1990 is, depending on how you look at it, regarded as the best-selling death metal album of all time, 2004’s ‘Scars of the Crucifix’ contained a song which was literally used to torture detainee’s in Iraq and 2011’s ‘To Hell With God’ contained the lyric “Raise a glass to blasphemy and piss upon the alter” – just a few examples over three decades of unwavering commitment to the cause.
If Cannibal Corpse are the true kings of gore infused death metal then Deicide are most certainly The Light Bearer for Satanic death metal.
Album opener ‘One With Satan’ starts with a doomy dredge just to ease you in, especially with that unmistakable guttural growl from Glen Benton, but quickly brings in the blast beats and blistering shred-heavy riffs that are so synonymous with Deicide’s sound. The main guitar riff throughout ‘Crawled from the Shadows’ stands out as sounding slightly peculiar in comparison to the rest of the bands material and its jovial nature is quite jarring against the punishing drums and vocals that accompany it. Having said that, it might just be me missing something. Nonetheless, ‘Seal the Tomb Below’ delivers its fair share of punishment and it’s clear to see why it was chosen as one of the songs to be available early on streaming platforms with its barrage of double pedal played to a groove for head bangers rejoice.
Unlike some previous releases, the songs on ‘Overtures of Blasphemy’ just get better and better as the record goes on. ‘Compliments of Christ’ and ‘Anointed In Blood’ both ooze the gritty edge that draws fans of heavy music to the genre but in completely different ways, utilising speed and groove brilliantly whilst keeping everything fresh. This is continued through ‘Defying The Sacred’ all the way up until album closer ‘Flesh, Power, Dominion’ - whilst it all flows logically as an album and there’s no genre hopping and absolutely no ‘radio friendly’ songs on the record, every song stands up on its own merit which must, at least in part, be owed to the bands conscious effort to share out song writing duties across the album - this is the first Deicide record in 26 years to feature songs written by Glen Benton.
For decades, the definition of the term ‘heavy’ has been the subject of many, many debates among metal fans with conclusions generally alluding to speed, be it really fast or really slow, and low sound frequencies from both instruments and vocals as the key factors. What sets Deicide apart from their death metal peers is their ability to write undeniably heavy material whilst retaining complete clarity in their sound. Yes they have one of the heaviest vocals in metal but the riffs and solos don’t rely on a low sound to be heavy – they just sound really fucking evil and haunting.
‘Overtures of Blasphemy’ doesn’t particularly break a lot of new ground for Deicide but it’s great to see that after 30 years, one of the most notorious bands in metal can put out a record that, if possible, seems even more evil and darker than before.
Track listing on ‘Overtures of Blasphemy’:
One With Satan
Crawled From The Shadows
Seal the Tomb Below
Compliments of Christ
All That Is Evil
Anointed in Blood
Crucified Soul of Salvation
Defying the Sacred
Consumed by Hatred
Flesh, Power, Dominion
Destined to Blasphemy
CD Jewelcase, LP, LTD CD Box Set, Digital Album
Glen Benton - Bass, Vocals
Steve Asheim - Drums, Guitars
Kevin Quirion - Guitars
Mark English - Guitars
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