Review Summary: Very good production, performace and song-writing, no problems, excluding the guitar solos, but it just isn't a classic.
Everyone knows how extremely Anti-Christian Deicide is, with track titles like "Kill the Christian" ect. but you have to listen to them to grasp how evil Glen Benton sounds and how cathcy their guitar riffs are. This 1995 release follows the same tradition as their two first album, recorded at the same studio and sounds great, if you like death metal production, otherwise this may sound a little dead to you.
What I liked about this album is that no song goes over 4 minutes in length, I've never really felt that death metal can pull off epic songs, exept maybe for Nile, and Deicide don't even try, they know that if they want their songs to be brutal all the way through, the songs can't be long. Demons and gods make good stories and are often fun and interresting to read, but it's sad that people actually take it seriously. So, on the lyrics, they don't ruin the songs but few are outstanding, no horror movie penning either, which is a plus.
The singing, is Glen Benton, if you don't like his singing/grunting/screaming you will not appreciate this album, He and John Tardy (Obituary) invented the agressive low pitch growling as far as I know . Althoug, one strange fact is that his higher, possessed sounding voice found on Deicide and Legion seems to have disapeared. The rythm guitars on this album are amazing, the library of good death metal riffs on every single Deicide release is just incredible.
The drumming is also very good and at times Steve manages to be very creative, though he never tries to just show off, the drumming is also insanely solid all the way through, he makes it sound so easy. Glen's bass is either very, very tight, or it's not there and the guitars are very very thick, I'm guessing that the first one is correct but you don't really notice the bass, anyway it's not a drawback since the bass seems allways to follow the guitars.
The solos on this album I hate. I hate the solos. There allways seems to be some need for the Hoffmans to show the death metal community that they can do arpeggios, (For those who don't know what it is, it's chords played one note at a time, a broken chord if you will, and on guitar performed by sweping across normally 4 or 5 strings in a run, one or two notes a string). The solos could be more inventive, that's the only downside of this album. the record is about 28 minutes long and thus never gets stale.
Behind The Light Thou Shall Rise
Once Upon The Cross
Trick Or Betrayed