I really don’t understand what it is with Deicide but they seem to live under more pressure than the other juggernauts of old school Death Metal. Obituary, Cannibal Corpse, and even Morbid Angel seem to get less scrutiny on the quality of material. Well, album number eleven should leave none in doubt that Glen Benton and his merry men are not resting on the reputation of those first three, much lauded albums. I actually reckon many Deicide fans will think that Overtures Of Blasphemy is superior to 2006’s highly rated The Stench of Redemption.
What makes Overtures Of Blasphemy so good? Well, firstly, it is one of those albums that only some artists ever manage to create, in that it truly does refer to all eras of the bands work. No mean feat when you have been a band for three decades, and have ten albums under your belt, not to mention quite a few different guitar players and contributing songwriters over the years.
A short while into opening assault ‘One with Satan,’ and it’s evident that Deicide have found some extra fire and anger, which in their case is pretty fucking impressive. Benton may be lacking the dynamics he used to boast vocally, but he more than makes up for it in sheer power, which is up there with Death Metal’s very best. Listen to ‘Crucified Soul of Salvation’ for what feels like an almost physical beating from his voice alone. Fantastic.
Decide have had some formidable guitar pairings in their existence, but Kevin Quirion, who has been in the ranks for ten years now, and the new boy, Mark English from Monstrosity, are nothing short of inspiring together. Yes, Quirion and Jack Owen worked, but not like this. Now and again two players more than click, and that has happened with these two. Some of the lead lines are mega-creepy (‘Seal the Tomb Below’), some of them the most melodic they have ever been, by quite some distant (‘Anointed in Blood’). Others are just super cool like, the opening to ‘Defying the Sacred,’ which sounds like if Adrian Smith and Jeff Hanneman wrote a solo together! There are also a few guitar spars throughput that any metal head will enjoy immensely. If you take anything away from this review, then let it be this that makes you listen to Overtures Of Blasphemy.
There is also some heads down brutality, take no prisoners, no fucking around Deicide here. ‘Flesh, Power, Dominion’ shows that Steve Asheim has lost none of his ferocity behind the kit. With all due respect, a guy of his vintage has no business being this intense a drummer. It defies belief.
Jason Suecof reprises his production/mixing role and it is up to his usual high standards. He surely can’t be far off from being crowned the new Colin Richardson. By the sounds of Glen Benton’s praise of him, I doubt Deicide will ever use anyone else and I, for one, am happy for that to be the case.
The twelve tracks whiz by, and before you know it you will be hitting play again and again. With repeated listens Overtures Of Blasphemy rewards you. Let the music get under your skin, then investigate some of those infamous Benton lyrics. They’re not a let-down once again, as religion hating and savage as ever.
Deicide are back after the longest gap between records in their history and it did them no harm at all. Welcome back boys!