Overtures of Blasphemy

Sept. 24, 2018


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Deicide’s had a solid run of albums since 2006’s The Stench of Redemption was deemed as a comeback by many given the questionable quality of their early 2000’s output.  Part of this was due to the addition of Jack Owen following his departure from Cannibal Corpse, and 2013’s In the Minds of Evil benefited from the writing being split between Owen and Kevin Quirion.  Five years have passed since that album came out (the band’s longest gap between releases), and since then Jack Owen has left with Monstrosity guitarist Mark English taking over oh guitar alongside Quirion.  With this lineup in place, Deicide has put togethertheir twelfth studio effort Overtures of Blasphemy which continues to deliver tightly played and fast paced death metal with just the right amount of technicality. 

At this point in their career it’s unlikely that Deicide is aiming to radically reinvent death metal, but they certainly come across as polished and high energy as ever.  The majority of Overtures of Blasphemy keeps its foot on the gas pedal, with songs that fly by at a fast pace and lead into some scorching guitar solos.  It’s an approach that’s fairly simple but works in the band’s favor, as they’ve often been at their best when they keep their writing lean and don’t stretch their ideas to the point of repetition.  Tracks like “Crawled from the Shadows” hit the right balance of brutality and catchy riffing that will keep listeners wanting to come back, and there’s an overall punchiness to the instrumentation that keeps the intensity level at a high.  Admittedly even though Deicide doesn’t pad their material out with pointless filler and keeps things brief they do fall into some similar patterns by the second half of the album which leads some of the songs to not have as much of their own identity. 

If you’ve followed American death metal for any period of time you’re probably familiar with Glenn Benton’s vocal style and he’s still in fine form throughout Overtures of Blasphemy.  Benton sticks with his low pitched, guttural growls for the entire record and they continually bludgeon the listener with precision.  The one disappointing element is that there aren’t any of the higher pitches that were included previously and helped to break up the performance a bit more.  It’s not a deal breaker by any means as the growls are just as in your face as before, but it is once area I wish Deicide would utilize just a bit more.

While the last few Deicide records haven’t been bad by any means, Overtures of Blasphemy captures the same level of energy and writing that made The Stench of Redemption grab quite a few fans back in 2006.  It does blur together a bit by the end and isn’t necessarily going to be regarded as one of the best death metal albums to release this year, but it’s still a scorching listen that showcases these guys are still worth talking about and aren’t past their prime.  Overtures of Blasphemy is available from Century Media Records.

-Review by Chris Dahlberg

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