|Classic Review: Deicide - Deicide|
Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1990
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: March 9, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Rated 4.42/5 (88.33%) (48 Votes)
Waaaayyy back in the late 80’s the death metal scene started to really take off. A lot of acts were laying down the landmarks of the genre, albums that have become legendary. 1990 was a really good year, with the release of Morbid Angel’s "Altars of Madness" and Entombed kicking off the Swedish scene. Along with Morbid Angel, Deicide were on the leading edge of the then-new Florida death metal scene and helped define it. The self-titled "Deicide" was their first album, and their best.
This is very old-school Florida death metal, before it became cliché. The songs blaze by in a flurry of double-bass and ripping rhythm guitar. None of the songs top the 4 minute mark. Every song is short, furiously fast, and evil as hell. Nowadays we would call this "Black/Death metal", and I’m surprised no one has noticed the influence this album’s sound shares with black metal (which didn’t exist when this album was released) (Ahem... Many will -rightly- contest this statement ;) - Ed.) The blastbeats, the shrieking vocals, the gleefully satanic lyrics – it has all the elements of primitive black metal.
A lot of the songs blend together in a mersh of speed and screaming, but on this album Deicide showed a flair for catchy choruses you could snarl along to. On standout cuts like "Sacrificial Suicide", "Blaspherereion" and "Crucifixation" they crafted songs as catchy as they were heavy. The rest of the time they played too damn fast for their own good, losing the listener in the snare drum. When they could slow it down a notch they slammed out cool, intensely rhythmic riffs that were music to disembowel by. Glen Benton’s vocals range between a raspy shriek and a more standard guttural growl, though he retains intelligibility throughout. He used a lot of vocal effects on this album, which he apparently got so much shit about he felt he had to rant in the liner notes to "Legion" (the much-inferior follow-up) and claim he never used any effects, which is a total lie. Sometimes the vocals are pitch-shifted, but mostly they are used to create a low, inhuman growl that rolls along with the music – like having the rancor on backing vocals. I’m normally not a fan of vocal effects, but here it creates a very cool effect; cheesy as hell, but cool.
The aforementioned satanic lyrics are pretty standard, much better than on succeeding albums. (See ‘Revocate the Agitator’ off "Legion" if you don’t believe me.) But they really mean it, as far as I can tell. Anyone familiar with Deicide will know that mainstay Glen Benton is, technically speaking, crazy as a shithouse rat. I’m glad to see Deicide still recording, as I’m sure that inverted cross carved in his forehead would make it hard to get a day job. ("Lord Lucifer wants to know if you want fries with that.")
This is a good old death metal CD, still fun after more than a decade. Deicide never produced the classic album everyone was hoping for, but this one is pretty good anyway.
Standout Tracks: Sacrificial Suicide, Dead by Dawn, Carnage in the Temple of the Damned.
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Interview with drummer Steve Asheim on October 25, 2013 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
Video: Scars of the Crucifix
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