Deicide are back and not a moment too soon after the stinkfest that was Till Death Do Us Part, but are they truly back? It's hard to tell. Certainly, To Hell With God is a better album, but after 20 years of writing death metal, they seem to be out of ideas. It does have the standard Deicide sound, but in this case, that doesn't save this album from mediocrity. About halfway through the album, I realized I had heard these songs before. I had heard them earlier on the album. Every song has the same drumming, same lyrical patterns, same guitar work. The only thing missing was the bass. I couldn't hear it. If it was there, it was turned down so low it was basically absent.
Glen Benton's vocals are also lacking. In the past, he has used various styles to produce different sounds in their songs, lending some variation to the songs. He only uses his regular death growl on this album, contributing to the lamentable lack of imagination throughout the album.
The production is first rate. The album is very clean, almost too clean. Here's the thing though: do we really want Deicide's production to be completely clean? Part of what makes Legion such a classic album is the slightly dirty production. It doesn't sound clean. It sounds rough around the edges.
The album is short. Very short. Clocking at at about 35 minutes, it isn't their shortest album, but that might save this album from being bad. Any longer and it would have just gone completely downhill.
At first, the songs are okay, even good. The title track, which is also the first track, is the strongest on the album. After three or four tracks, the album starts to wear on and only the hardest core fans will listen to the whole thing. My first time though, I zoned out at about track number five. It became background music and I didn't even really hear it anymore.
Is this what Deicide have become? Background music? I certainly hope not.
Standout tracks: To Hell With God; Conviction
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