Friday, 29 November 2013

Review; Deicide - In The Minds Of Evil

Track Listing:

1. In The Minds Of Evil
2. Thou Begone
3. Godkill
4. Beyond Salvation
5. Misery Of One
6. Between The Flesh And The Void
7. Even The Gods Can Bleed
8. Trample The Cross
9. Fallen To Silence
10. Kill The Light Of Christ
11. End The Wrath Of God

It's strange thinking about Florida as a Metal fan; It conjures thoughts of sun, sea, Disneyland, family holidays...and some of the greatest Death Metal bands that have ever emerged! With bands like Death, Hate Eternal, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Atheist, Cynic and Six Feet Under, to name but a few, Florida will more than certainly be remembered by Metalheads as probably the most important hotbed of Death Metal pioneers that the genre has seen.

As far as my vote is concerned; the unholy beast of a band that is Deicide has always been my favourite of the Floridian Death Metal bands. Between frontman Glen Benton's bowel-churning vocal abilities and the Jesus-bashing lyrical content, there's a lot to appeal to my ears, not to mention the consistently great and understated instrumental capabilities the band have brought to each of their now eleven records, throughout all the line-up changes, the quality of the band's output has never disappointed me. Now the band's latest offering of evil brutality is upon us, and I've been dying to get my ears around it.

The first thing you know of this album is the distorted voice, saying "Some men just want to watch the world burn", which would set the tone for a Deicide album better than almost any sentance. Then with a triplet-powered stampede of guitars begins the music itself. Alongside some fairly standard-for-Death-Metal drumming, the album is off to a predictable but strong start. Riffs are solid and the execution is tight. All the while, Glen Benton's signature growl completes the sound, while the lyrical content appears to address the subject of terrorism. 'Thou Begone' brings in the first salvo of lyrical ammunition aimed directly at religion and the religious. It's arguable that this lyrical theme, which continues into 'Godkill' and 'Beyond Salvation' without relent, is repetition on the band's part, but with the impact of Benton's voice and the similarly powerful impact of the vocabulary that he applies to his lyrics it doesn't present itself as a problem. Instead of evolving the formula that is used in their material, Deicide push it onwards, adding to it like chapters added to a book.

With the lyrical content covered, it's worth mentioning the high class production on this album. Of course, producer Jason Suecof has lent his expertise to many other solid albums including Trivium's 'Ascendancy', The Black Dahlia Murder's 'Ritual' and The Defiled's latest album 'Daggers'. The nuances put onto a portion of the vocals, wherein Glen's voice is preceded by a fade-in of a sample of itself, giving the vocals an ominous, demonic feel that lends itself to what Deicide stand for perfectly. Everything else in the mix sits perfectly, with drums, guitar and bass guitar all perfectly audible, as opposed to many other Death Metal albums that bury the bass so far under the electric guitars that there's almost no point for it to be there. So, a quick well done to Jason Suecof for his contribution to this record.

A major strength that this record has is that none of the songs hit the four minute mark. I cite this as a strength because it keeps everything trimmed and concise. If a band like Deicide were to go attempt a long epic song eleven studio albums into their career it would be boring. We know this band's sound, as previously stated. The metal world now knows exactly what a Deicide album will sound like, so keeping the songs so choppy and to-the-point helps prevent the brutal in-your-face approach from becoming quite so old, even at this point. Was this a conscious decision on the band's part? Who knows, but nonetheless I find it worth mentioning.

Ultimately, as the album comes to it's conclusion with the venomous 'End The Wrath Of God' any fan will be left satisfied. I know I am. 2011's 'To Hell With God' was a great album in my opinion and is one that I revisit almost regularly, but I've come to like 'In The Minds Of Evil' even more, which is saying something. As far as I'm concerned, Deicide are still a band that are at the top of their game, and even though they haven't done anything here that will blow the minds of those familiar with their back catalogue, they've very effectively reminded everyone that they are the undisputed titans of insane, twisted, gory and blasphemous Death Metal. Get this album, you won't regret it.

Rating: 8/10

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