One of Florida’s most violent and vicious acts, Deicide blasted through the 90’s with envious power and brutal mortality, but lost quite a bit of steam in the early 2000’s and had been juggling between good and mediocre albums – with the exception of ‘The Stench of Redemption’ (2006) – since then, but it seems like that crazy, scary-looking dude with an inverted cross scarred in the forehead has once again found the way to the gates of hell with ‘Overtures of Blasphemy’.
With newcomer Mark English (Monstrosity) replacing Jack Owen as one of the axemen alongside Kevin Quirion, Glen Benton hit the jackpot in terms of heaviness and sheer savagery, but now the riffs also sound more organic, crisp and mature when in comparison to the band’s last entry, ‘In the Minds of Evil’ (2013).[metalwani_content_ad]
Brutal assaults like the ludicrous opener “One with Satan” and the last portion of the album featuring cataclysmic moments like “Consumed by Hatred” are more than enough to prove that Benton and his devilish friends are back in full force to desecrate tombs, assassinate God’s envoys and kick major ass with delicious riffs.
A somewhat unexpected heterogeneous nature is also present here in the form of more melodic (well, as little melodic as Deicide can be) efforts like “Crawled from the Shadows”, when the band experiments with more prolific and less toned-down guitar work, and some passages in the awesome “Compliments of Christ” – this one showcases Benton’s blasphemous mind at its best with especially exaggerated anti-Christian lyrics and one of the most terrifying vocal lines by the frontman in a long time.
Don’t worry, though, as there’s plenty straight-forward old-school death metal to go around in the mid portion of the record, with assaults such as the faster than lightning “All That Is Evil”, “Excommunicated” – which has one of the coolest intros of the album with a killer solo – and the similarly guitar-friendly “Anointed in Blood”, this one being more cadenced.
Tracks “Seal the Tomb Below” and “Crucified Soul of Salvation” further consolidate the heretic aura. The first one is a juggernaut of no frills death metal that leaves no room to breathe, while the second sees Benton in a full-on rampage of vituperation. In the same vein as the latter is “Defying the Sacred”, where the aggressiveness – both instrumental and lyric-wise – is taken to yet another level.
“Flesh, Power, Dominion” and closer “Destined to Blasphemy” illustrate clockwork instrumental and visceral angriness easily matching those of Deicide heydays. The latter one, for that matter, is one of their best songs in a long time, by being especially ruthless, electric and evil.
As it always is with Deicide, the kitchen work is absurdly heavy, with Benton leading the charge by relentlessly slapping his bass and Steve Asheim providing support with his state of the art battering ram, making each song sound powerful and relevant. The cover art provided by Zbigniew Bielak (Behemoth, Deströyer 666, Dimmu Borgir) is marvelous and the production and mixing value are stellar, provided by veterans Jason Suecof (Death Angel, Charred Walls of the Damned, The Black Dahlia Murder, etc.) and Alan Douches (Death, Attacker and many others), respectively, and there’s a decent spacing between highs and lows, making the experience even better.
Forget about recent slips like ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ (2008) and ‘To Hell with God’ (2011), because ‘Overtures of Blasphemy’ is the best Deicide album since ‘The Stench of Redemption’ (2006); ironically enough, this time around redemption doesn’t stink, but rather has the sweet, sweet fragrance of victory. One of the best death metal albums of 2018 so far.