I admit I was a bit skeptic about this release knowing that the brothers were canned, but I assure you this is not a weak Deicide album. Honestly, they haven’t been this brutal since Legion or maybe Once Upon… This album is brutal in true Deicide fashion. Even with totally new axemen (although not new to metal fans) they pull off the classic Deicide sound and still take it to soundscapes they never touched with the brothers before. It is a very strong unrelenting album any Deicide fan should cherrish. And, I bought my copy from Best Buy but it does have the supposed Japanese song Black Night on it (Regular USA version). So I don’t know about there reason it’s listed with 9 songs when mine has 10. Anyway, great album and hope for more with this lineup in the future.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
This is one of Deicide’s best releases. The muscianship is the best out of any of their previous works. Seriously the solos pretty much shred throughout, without taking away from Deicide’s brutality. The music just kills on this. Very fast and heavy. Glen’s voice is a little deeper and he does the high pitch stuff, it’s just not as upfront/annoying as it was on Scars of the Crucifix. As a whole the cd sounds alot meaner and mature than the past. Owen and Santorella (sp), really did inject this band with the needed fire that had been lacking, even though SOTC was a great cd. I really like the guitar sound on this, has a razor sound to it, similiar to Once Upon the Cross, in terms of the guitar sound. Anyway if you like Deicide you will no doubt appreciate this. Brutal and refreshed!!
A lot of musicians promise a kick-ass return if their last disc proves lackluster. Sadly though, once they’re going downhill, their new album doesn’t do much for their fans either. Thankfully, in Deicide’s case, The Stench of Redemption more than meets the expectations, just as Glen Benton had promised.
This has partly to do with the renewed lineup of the band. Long-time guitarists Eric and Brian Hoffman left the band in 2004 for personal reasons, and even though it was they who played on some of Deicide’s most important releases, their departure has certainly motivated the rest of the band in a positive way. New guitarists, Jack Owen (ex-Cannibal Corpse) and Ralph Santolla (ex-Iced Earth, Death), have breathed new life into the band’s music. The writing is tight and the performance rock-solid. If you like Benton’s vocals and bass playing, there’s no chance you will be disappointed here. Drummer Steve Asheim hasn’t played like this for years. The album features crushing blast beats galore that won’t let go from start to finish. The guitar tandem’s barrage of direct riffage is grim yet melodic. Santolla’s sense of melody seems to have been carried over; except that he hasn’t played this fast and vicious in a long time. Both players lay down impressive solos, but it is their twin guitar harmonies and unison leads that make this album a real winner. This is one of the heaviest albums of the year, but it’s all done within a melodic blueprint and an understanding of harmony. Besides the head-spinning shred fest on the title track, the duo also offer a mighty twin guitar riffage and complex stop-start moments.
Other highlights include the monstrously epic opening of “Desecration”, complete with raging growls and fast, melodic guitar runs, as well as some vague Nile-like eastern scales; the totally unapologetic “Homage for Satan”, a song that recalls the band’s earliest material in that it is relentlessly bleak and heavy; and the superb acoustic guitar resolution on the final song “The Lord’s Sedition”, which is not too common on a Deicide disc. The gloomy, atmospheric intro slowly builds to a mesmerizing twin guitar harmony that is both rich in numerous chord changes and rich melodic signatures. It almost feels like an excerpt from Ralf Santolla’s solo album yet it fits the rest of the songs excellently. Once that melody is brilliantly executed, the band dives headlong into crushing aggression, highlighted by thick rhythms and wall-of-sound drums.
This is one of the best albums Deicide have released in a long time. I hope they continue to make more music with their current lineup. US death metal doesn’t get better than this.
Quite a few of 2006’s highly anticipated metal releases have been somewhat disappointing. But most metalheads know that an extreme music album may take time to fully absorb, so I never gave up on listening to those C.D.’s, and even though some of them still aren’t completely up to my expectations, several of them have proven to be a lot better than I initially thought. This was the case with this year’s Cannibal Corpse, Zyklon and Napalm Death albums, but my opinion has most notably changed about Deicide’s new one.
Typically, a metal band will begin their career recording aggressive, offensive albums, and over time, the members age and their music softens. Glen Benton is pushing forty years old (he’s spent nineteen of those years fronting this iconic death metal quartet), but it appears he never got the music industry’s memo saying he should think about “selling out” and retiring soon. This year’s “The Stench Of Redemption” is the most uncompromisingly heavy and best work he has put to wax since 1992’s sophomoric “Legion.” And despite undergoing their first ever lineup change (guitarists Jack Owen and Ralph Santolla were eventually recruited after original members Eric and Brian Hoffman exited in 2004), Deicide sound like they actually had some fun when making this album. By no means does that mean that they’ve loosened up or started to take it easy, it just means they have rarely sounded this energetic, natural, and unrestrained.
“The Stench” begins as an immensely brutal album, and it only becomes more brutal as it plays — these are nine tracks of bludgeoning, skull-crushing destruction. Since the album is practically devoid of variety, not every individual song on here is memorable, but Deicide didn’t become the legendary band they are today by including those things in their music, so maybe that’s what Vital Remains is for. And being a little predictable sometimes can be easily overlooked when one realizes that metal doesn’t get much more cohesive, committed, and inspired than this album. Glen’s vocals and lyrics haven’t matured or improved much, but the musicianship on display here is nothing short of jaw-dropping. Steve Asheim’s earthquake drumming is excellent as usual, and the guitar work is virtuosic–the solos are epic and technical, the leads are thrashy and infectious, and the riffs are absolutely amazing. In fact, these are some of the best riffs any band (death metal or otherwise) has produced this side of the Eighties!
As soon as the first song (the title track) begins, the album’s floodgates immediately burst open and the listener is engulfed in speaker shredding riffs, two long, ripping solos, and smashing blast beats. Insanely fast (almost dizzying) songs like “Desecration,” “Crucified For The Innocence,” “Walk With The Devil In Dreams You Behold,” and “Not Of This World” feature “Reign In Blood”-style tempos and scorching interplay between the smoke-inducing, buzzsaw guitar leads and walloping, jackhammer drums. “Homage To Satan” is also Slayer reminiscent in that it works up a massive amount of energy and momentum through a series of dogfight riffs and speed-of-light solos. Lastly, “Death To Jesus,” which is highlighted by Deicide’s best guitar solo to date, is also worth noting, and so is the album closer, “Black Night,” an unusual Deep Purple cover which begins with a great stop-start give and take between the guitars and drums.
In sum, “The Stench Of Redemption” comes up short in the surprises and diversity departments, but it’s sure to grow on you and sound less monotonous and more intricate and meticulous with every listen. “The Stench” definitely won’t interest anybody who isn’t already a devoted follower, but at this point in their career, Glen and Co. probably couldn’t care less about a bigger fan base. The fact of the matter is, an album like this isn’t for everyone, but almost all music fans already know that if it’s extreme metal you crave, you simply cannot go wrong with Deicide.
When Glen Benton has two members of his band leave and piss him off, man does it show in a killer way in the finished product. Steve Asheim wrote all the music for this. Glen Benton’s vocal attack on this CD is his best since the old Legion days. Not wasting time and getting Jack Owen and Ralph Santolla on guitars, was the best choice he could have made. On Scars of The Crucifix, it was all out war in the songs. Not many breaks, just straight out hammering away, song after song. On this one, there’s more structure to the songs, better riffs, and guitar solos that actually say something. Not to bash Scars, that was a great release, all Deicide is, but this one is a newer more enraged Deicide. Big time Devil-horned salute to Glen and Steve for creating this one!