Till Death Do Us Part
Metal's evilest return for another round
Deicide surprised the hell (pardon the pun, I guess) out of the metal world with their previous album, 2006's The Stench Of Redemption. Not only was it the first album without the Hoffman brothers (former guitarists Eric and Brett) - who were a staple of the line-up since their 1990 self titled debut, but more importantly it was without a doubt their best album since 1995's Once Upon The Cross. The injection of guitarists Jack Owen and Ralph Santolla made the world of difference. Bruality retained, but musically, more memorable, more melodic and quite possibly more fierce than before The Stench Of Redemption re-established Deicide's name on today's metal map. Vocalist/bassist Glen Benton and drummer Steve Asheim, have returned, with Owen and Santolla, with album number nine, titled Till Death Do Us Part.
Gentle is not usually word associated with Deicide in any way, shape, or form, but that's just how I'd best describe the swelling introduction titled The Beginning Of The End. It's a decent length at just over three and a half minutes and early on, it shows once again just how significant the addition of Owen and Santolla have been to the band's revitalised recent output - melodic lead breaks, flowing chords and overall improved sense of musicality once again dominate Deicide's latest slab 'o metal. It's an almost seamless transition into the titled track, Till Death Do Us Part, but when Benton's sinister growl beckons in the background, you know things are going to get ugly - in a good way of course - any moment now. Sure enough they do with blasting beats courtesy of Mr. Asheim behind Benton's trademark roar and furious fret work from Owen and Santolla which adds up to Deicide in full flight once more. There's a no nonsense urgency to the blistering Hate Of All Hatreds whilst In The Eyes Of God is as classic a Deicide track as anything from their trio of high calibre earliest releases.
As a group who have typically blasted simple beats, albeit at blinding speeds more often than not, the odd timed opening to Worthless Misery is an interesting change-up for the quartet and one that works well for them as it appears throughout the track. It's business as usual for the brutal Severed Ties which is chock full of top shelf lead breaks, whilst at the other end of the speed spectrum is the excellent Not As Long As We Both Shall Live which sees Deicide slowing things down, although Asheim is still working up a sweat behind the kit, as he does on the crushing Angel Of Agony. The final full track is the almost six and a half minute Horror In The Halls Of Stone, which just reeks of being an epic assault from the opening chords before the kind of short instrumental The End Of The Beginning bookends another excellent album of extreme death metal.
Deicide seem to have overcome the rocky path they were travelling until a few years ago. The new blood is still flowing fast and having a more than positive effect on the group. Till Death Do Us Part is every bit the perfect next step from The Stench Of Redemption and ultimately every bit as essential. Deicide have delivered once again.
(Earache Records/Riot! Entertainment)