Review Summary: The old lustre for Deicide’s brand of death metal has faded out of the band’s sound, but that doesn’t stop Glen Benton and Co. from achieving a steady, albeit plain death metal record in 2013.
For those who have followed the band’s initial footsteps, or relished the chance to own a vinyl copy of the group’s self-titled debut, Deicide are seen as the genre’s for-runners. Arguably, the quality levels have dipped over the years, but for the most part Deicide represent exactly what the general metal community expects in the death metal genre. Satanistic, groove-laden, hateful, technicality, aggression and death – the basic elements either lyrically or visually (even from their debut) are all present on the group’s 2013 release. The only problem is (which seems to be a lasting issue) is that Deicide are stuck in a death metal rut, hoping to get out of this slump.
Most familiar with the genre know exactly what to expect with a Deicide release; any of the adjectives found in the above paragraph will suffice for a description of the band. Fortunately for ‘In The Minds Of Evil’ the news is not all bad. Glen Benton is infamous in the world of metal, or at least his antics are (how many people willingly brand an upside-down cross on their forehead?), 2013 shows a band at least trying to stick to their original sound AND stay relevant in today’s music. Sure, it’s not going to have the same impact as the band’s earlier releases but there are some tracks worthy of the Deicide fame to be found here. The album opener, and title track brings back the glory of quasi-Slayer riffs and surprisingly catchy vocal phrases. Take heed, listeners are not getting anything new here, nor are Deicide actually trying but for a band trying to make the right impression, “In The Minds Of Evil” brings back an old Morbid Angel feel, which is enough to set the tone for the record.
Instrumentally, everything is competently sound. Blast beats ensure a damaging rumbling sound, coinciding with a rather limited riffage onslaught. Benton’s vocal range doesn’t stretch to far from his past work, especially the latter half of the band’s career where deep growls dominate the higher pitched shrieks. It wouldn’t hurt for Benton to stretch back into his earlier styles of work, adding variance into Deicide’s modern attempts at death metal, adding interest back to this done and done again style of traditional death metal. Benton’s vocal effort is the talking point of the record, although not for a supremely impressive display. In fact, in parts throughout ‘In The Minds Of Evil’ Benton sounds like an over-tired toddler, in desperate need of a rest but will fight the very idea of a sleep. It’s not bad, but it’s very far from great.
Overall it’s hard to imagine Deicide ever hitting the glory days of old, it’s not impossible but with various line-up changes and a done before sound, the chances remain unlikely. The debate’s still out whether Deicide should hang up their gear and head for a quiet nostalgic adventure on a rocking chair, but for now the music speaks plainly for itself.