Jesus Christ, it’s time to take cover. Floridian death metal stalwarts Deicide are back with a follow-up to 2011’s “To Hell With God”, and right off the bat it seems Glen Benton and co. are fully intent on staying their well-trodden course with “In The Minds Of Evil”. Eleven albums in, the band still seem to have a lot of ire and fire left in them, particularly Benton with his well-publicized vitriolic hate of Christianity and love of Satan in equal measure. While their catalogue consists of both hits and misses, anyone with a passing interest in death metal should have a fairly clear idea what to expect before they hit the play button, for better or for worse.
First impressions of the album make it clear that it is quite top-heavy. The opening title track is a barnstormer with an overall feel of the much-loved sophomore album “Legion”, full of evil and bludgeoning riffs and fine soloing that make use of the relatively new Kevin Quirion’s strong talent, and ‘Thou Begone’ delivers in a similar fashion. One wouldn’t expect catchiness to surface so much in Satanic death metal, but there are definitely several moments that stick in the listener’s ears, mostly surrounding the choruses or more attention-grabbing intros. The drumming of old hand Steve Asheim is also highly commendable, completely on-point and tight, but also knowing when to go nuts such as on ‘Trample The Cross’, one of the redeeming tracks in the latter half of the album.
Unfortunately, as might be expected of a band peddling the same message for nigh on 25 years, there is a bit of filler with the killer. ‘Godkill’, despite possessing a fun chorus, does little else of note throughout the rest of its brief running time, and the same goes for ‘Misery Of One’. ‘Fallen To Silence’ is the real weak point of the album, however, somehow managing to drag longer than its 3-minute duration. In addition, while many of the riffs throughout are solid and serviceable, there’s just one too many nods to Slayer for this record to stand on its own merit in the current death metal realm.
And then, of course, there’s Glen Benton. From a technical standpoint, his vocals have aged surprisingly well, given the fierce rumbling grunt he employs, although it’s not a far stretch from monotony. While the higher screams of his earlier work crop up only once or twice on this record, you can say that what he does serves his purpose rather well. That said, his creativity has hit something of a brick wall, and you only need to look at the track-listing to get an inkling of this. When you manage to use the words Christ, Nazarene and the phrase “trample the cross” in the same verse on a song that isn’t ‘Trample The Cross’, there may need to be some re-thinking done.
Ultimately, the appeal “In The Minds Of Evil” depends largely on three factors. If you are neither a fan of Floridian death metal nor being anti-preached by a man literally hellbent on the destruction of Christianity, then this won’t convert you any time soon. However, if you have an affinity for what Deicide are doing musically, and can either tune out the sermons or even get into the spirit of things, then you can consider yourself as most likely a fan of this record.