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Deicide
Till Death Do Us Part
October 2008
Released: 2008, Earache Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

People have been calling Deicide a one-trick pony for years and, in truth, there may be some weight to that argument as Glen Benton’s crusade against Christianity has grown a bit stale over the course of eight records. Maybe it was divine intervention, then, that Benton has found a new enemy—his ex-wife—to throw his lyrical barbs at Deicide’s new album, TILL DEATH DO US PART. Benton’s venom may have also leaked into drummer Steve Asheim’s songwriting as the new record veers sharply away from the more melodic angle the band explored on its last release, 2006’s THE STENCH OF REDEMPTION. A large font on the record’s slipcase claims TILL DEATH DO US PART is “the FASTEST and most BRUTAL Deicide album EVER!” and while I still feel that honor goes to 1992’s LEGION, this is certainly one nasty bit of business.



Benton’s growling pitbull vocals hide the lyrical venom of this record but one leaf through the accompanying booklet proves the now ex-Mrs. Benton has her own circle of Hell personally reserved for her. Prime example from what is easily the band’s heaviest track in years, “Hate of All Hatreds”: “All will rejoice on the day of your death/no one to miss you or wish you the best.” Ouch! Libelous diatribes aside, it is refreshing to see the whole “fuck Christianity” shtick set aside (though I’m sure it will be back) and perhaps even pave the way for a more mature Deicide. After all, Benton is past forty and Asheim isn’t far behind. Musically, Ralph Santolla (now out of the band but featured here as a studio session player) still unleashes a torrent of killer guitar solos. “In The Eyes of God” and “Worthless Misery” bristle with speedy, electrifying solos from Santolla that Jack Owen never has (and never will) be able to deliver, so Santolla’s presence—one that left the memory of Eric and Brian Hoffman in the dust on THE STENCH OF REDEMPTION—will certainly be missed. While most of TILL DEATH DO US PART caters to Deicide’s trademark outrageously fast death metal, the band settles into a head-bobbing groove on “Severed Ties” that certainly stands out at the albums’ midway point. There are other places that almost get back to a slower, more melodic sound (“The Beginning of The End,” “Not As Long As We Both Shall Live”) but this is an insidious, harsh-sounding record from top to bottom.



There have been rumors afoot that TILL DEATH DO US PART will be the final Deicide album, as Benton is tired of touring and his legal battles that provided fodder for the new record really took its toll on the ominous frontman. Whether those rumors are substantiated or not, it certainly wouldn’t be a bad way to go out as TILL DEATH DO US PART would be a fitting swan song for a long and storied career of one of death metal’s most influential and successful bands. The prophetic album title and clues yanked from some of the song titles might just be conspiracy theorists working overtime but let us all hope that Deicide still has some hate left in them for a few more years. There is always the whole blasphemy thing to fall back on after all…



KILLER KUTS: “Till Death Do Us Part,” “Hate of All Hatreds,” “In The Eyes of God,” “Severed Ties,” “Not As Long As We Both Shall Live”
Track Listing

1. The Beginning of The End (Instrumental)
2. Till Death Do Us Part
3. Hate of All Hatreds
4. In The Eyes of God
5. Worthless Misery
6. Severed Ties
7. Not As Long As We Both Shall Live
8. Angel of Agony
9. Horror In The Halls of Stone
10. The End of The Beginning (Instrumental)

Lineup

Glen Benton—Vocals/Bass
Jack Owen—Guitar
Ralph Santolla—Guitar
Steve Asheim—Drums


Next review: » Deicide - Till Death Do Us Part
Previous review: » Deicide - The Stench of Redemption (666) EP

Deicide
Till Death Do Us Part
February 2009
Released: 2008, Earache Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus

Legendary Florida-based death metal band Deicide was an act that until now had mostly passed me by. There’s something about blithely spiteful anti-religious diatribes that gets old after the 100th song imagining Satan’s soon-to-be empire of Christ-raping. Call me demanding, but I like a little variety, something front man Glen Benton and company thus far haven’t delivered for me. Between Mr. Benton’s inverted-cross branded forehead and songs about the numerous demons that could be menacing my bowels, Deicide has held little interest for me. With minimal expectations, I loaded up TILL DEATH DO US PART and found myself surprised.



Opening instrumental “The Beginning of the End” is one of the best intro’s I’ve ever heard – its creepy, turgid, heavy, and ultra-malicious sounding, with dissonant guitar layers slowly building layers of tightening tension atop of some killer drum fills. Next is the dirge-like, uptempo title track “Till Death do us Part,” and here’s where my interest in this album really begins.



Though a disclaimer on the back sleeve of the CD says otherwise, TILL DEATH TO US PART supposedly contains many songs expressing vocalist/bassist Glen Benton’s pathologically endless hatred towards his ex-wife. While the anti-Christian themes still pop up, this album is dedicated towards the musical de-humanizing of this unfortunate woman. In “Hate of all Hatreds,” Mr. Benton’s hyper-aggressive vocals belch out so quickly and forcefully that you can hear him struggle to breathe in between phrases. Even after hearing hundreds of angry, bearded men violate their vocal cords for metal, Mr. Benton’s bloody voice earns my respect for sounding exceptionally wrenching, painful, and venomous (and sadly unintelligible most of the time – I’d love to understand his wife-hating diatribes without resorting to a lyric sheet.) Thankfully he’s also minimized the double-tracked scream that was generally overused in previous albums (whereas here it actually adds depth), though he still gets into annoyingly repetitive vocal rhythms that don’t vary much between songs.



TILL DEATH DO US PART also has the distinction of being one of the most drum-driven death metal albums I’ve encountered. Drummer Steve Asheim also writes most of the music, and it shows. The buzzing tremolo guitars are just a little buried beneath the relentless blastbeats and zippy fills, except for hired gun Ralph Santolla’s excellent shredding guitar solos which sound almost too loud in comparison. Santolla’s and Jack Owen’s chuggy riffs usually aim to be as dementedly fast and brutal as possible, but without much variety. The result sometimes creates monotony and a sense that Deicide tried to write each song to be successively faster and more brutal than the last without regard to dynamics or exploration. It isn’t until the gloomy “Horror in the Halls of Stone” that we get a brief slowdown with some welcome non-tremolo’d riffs.



Occasional one-dimensional aspects aside, TILL DEATH DO US PART is still a near-perfect example of what technical/brutal death metal should sound like. Standout tracks like “Hate of all Hatreds,” “Not as Long as we Both Shall Live,” and “Severed Ties” are fiercely awesome headbanging tracks that most metalheads should enjoy. My personal favorite is the thrashy “Severed Ties” which has a heavy, grooving 80’s style backbeat (at hyperspeed, of course) with Mr. Benton’s vocals barking away like an unchained hellhound. “Angel of Agony” almost sounds like an early Mayhem track with some melodic leads. Death metal fans of all walks and Deicide devotees should find plenty of enjoyment here.
Track Listing

1. The Beginning of the End
2. Till Death Do Us Part
3. Hate of all Hatreds
4. In the Eyes of God
5. Worthless Misery
6. Severed Ties
7. Not as Long as we Both Shall Live
8. Angel of Agony
9. Horror in the Halls of Stone
10. The End of the Beginning

Lineup

Glen Benton – Vocals & Bass
Steve Asheim – Drums
Ralph Santolla – Guest Guitar
Jack Owen – Guitar


Next review: » Deicide - To Hell With God
Previous review: » Deicide - The Stench of Redemption (666) EP





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