So what can we expect the two gentlemen Glen Benton and Steve Asheim, the only two remaining original members of the once most evil band on earth, Deicide, to have accomplished this time then? Deicide is hardly known for having kept an even quality on their releases over the years, so a certain amount of curiosity, now that Deicide, with “Overtures of Blasphemy “, releases a new record for the first time in five years, is in place.
After kicking of their career, and to some extent shocked the world, with their self-titled debut album, which in my eyes is one of the world’s best Death Metal-albums and following it up with the, in all its insane ferocity, likewise brilliant “Legion”, Deicide released another two decent albums before Glen Benton decided that he didn’t feel like acting cash cow to Roadrunner any more.
Glen Benton, being Glen Benton, he chose to fulfil his part of the deal with the record company by deliberately throwing together two mediocre records, freeing Deicide from the contract so they could take their business elsewhere. Deliberately releasing two bad albums in a row may not be the most thoughtful career move though and many fans, me included, probably lost their interest in Deicide then and there.
With the 2008 release “To Death Do Us Part”, I felt I wanted to check out the situation of the devil’s own house band again and soon found out that that particular purchase meant that I was now the, not so proud, owner of the, as I referred to it at that time, world’s worst Death Metal-album!
My expectations on “Overtures of Blasphemy” were thus somewhat low, still my hope was up… Would my old favourite Deathsters deliver or would they release another flop?
After the first listening, I’ll admit that everything just felt empty and hopeless. What the hell was that? Deicide? Was it even Death Metal?
I had to put in my old Nemesis, the “To Death Do Us Part”-disc into the CD player as a comparison, and certainly, it was still not that good, being boring standard Death Metal and not at all the mean, wicked and insane music that made Deicide groundbreaking with their first releases, but anyway, it was still Death Metal.
OK, Glen is doing his usual low pitch growl (without the overdubs with high pitch screaming he did so well at the beginning of his career, though) and both drums and guitar are at whirlwind speed for a good part of “Overtures of Blasphemy”, but when I listen to Deicide I want the drums to blast over wicked, innovate and MEMORABLE riffs, not over a grey guitar wall without the least potential to be remembered.
Once in a while, they cut away from the tiresome tremolo riffing and tries out a bit of “real” riffing, but they mostly sounds like a sad, low division, thrash metal-band, certainly not worthy a band of Deicide’s dignity.
And what’s the deal with all the melodies? Sure, early Deicide was catchy as hell, and that mixed with the madness and brutality of course laid the foundation to their success, but this is a completely different thing. When I let Deicide proclaim Satan’s Gospel, I want to hear solos consisting of insane screaming guitars and furious yanking of the whammy bar, yes, something that would make Slayer green with envy, not some bloody Yngwie Malmsteen-copy, shredding away on the guitar neck, topping it of with a beautiful … yes, god dammit, beautiful harmony, on top of that. The last straw is when even Glen Benton starts to growl along with the melodies. The curtain is down, this is the Twilight of the Gods…
Well, in honesty, the album gets a bit better after some spins. I suppose the first shock is gone and you start focusing on what’s “good” instead. As said, there are some really fast parts here and there, they have, at least tried, to get some variation in the type of songs and although I think the track structures are monotonous and that almost nothing happens, Steve Asheim is a hell of a drummer.
My guess is that this album surely is going to find it’s followers, there are many who like the more easy accessible, melodious style of Death Metal that Deicide, unfortunately, according to me, plays nowadays. But for those of us who remembers, with warmth in our hearts, the days when Glen Benton and Co. where hunted down by angry neighbourhood lynch mobs, because of their bad habit of decorating their house with carcasses and body parts, getting bombed (!) on stage by militant animal rights activists (because of alleged animal sacrifice) and Glen Benton burning a upside down cross into his freaking forehead, I recommend another spin of the debut-album, “Legion” or maybe “Once upon the Cross”. For anyone who thought it was cool when Deicide blamed yet another cancelled European tour on the fact that they could not fly because they would get too close to God, I recommend this album, because that kind of ridiculousness is more in level with this album…
A sad development of one of the world’s best, and most innovative, Death Metal-bands.
Title: Overtures of Blasphemy
Label: Century Media Records
Date of Release: 14/9-18
Playing time: 37:56
Stand out track: Nope…