Friday, January 23, 2009

Deicide, What the Hell Happened?

I was listening to my Deicide albums the other day, of which I only have four thus far, and a couple of things came to mind. First of all, Glen Benton is a total fuckwit. I'm not totally sure if he's drunk off of his ass all the time, although people who have seen him in concert certainly believe that he is, but what the hell is the band doing?

I have their first two albums Deicide (1990) and Legion (1992). Both of these albums are viewed as classics in the death metal scene and for very good reason. They were revolutionary for their time and remain highly influential today. The songs are typically short blasts of sonic destruction featuring Benton's dual-layered vocals of psychotic shrieking and maniacal growling, pummeling drums, and jagged riffs. Great albums from start to finish.

After those two albums though, Deicide descended into mediocrity. They had a few decent songs here and there, but were pretty much bereft of originality.

Then came The Stench of Redemption (2006). This was a huge turnaround for the band. They enlisted Obituary guitarist Ralph Santolla into the fold. Santolla brought his trademarked classically-trained, shredding guitar solos. The songs became longer and Benton continued the vocal styles that made him one of the most renowned death metal vocalists. The album was a huge success as a comeback record.

So, what does Deicide do for an encore?

They tried to revert back to the pre-Stench sound on Till Death Do Us Part (2008) but mix in some of the things that made Stench a success, namely Santolla's guitar solos. But they scaled those back and the album sounds like the band threw their entire discography in the blender and then released it. The album sounds like the band had no idea which direction to take. Plus just look at the cover posted. I understand that the entire album deals with Benton's divorce and was a very emotional time for him, but when your band is most known for your constant praises to Satan and blasphemies against God, maybe making an album about divorce issues isn't such a bright idea. Just saying.

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