Vital Remains
Icons of Evil



by TwoMonthsInTheCold USER (29 Reviews)
December 23rd, 2012 | 11 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'll stick with Dechristianize, thank you very much.

2003's Dechristianize could be seen as a comeback of sorts for Vital Remains, and the inclusion of Glen Benton, a household name in the genre, on vocals enhanced the band's profile. Everything present on Dechristianize, undoubtedly the band's magnum opus, is back, and so many consider Icons to be a sequel.

The album begins with a sample from The Passion Of The Christ which pretty much sets the bleak, nihilistic tone for the album. The title track of the album follows, and, clocking in at over seven and a half minutes, it is the epitome of the album. The song begins with the typical brutal death metal attack that was found on the previous release, and Dave Suzuki's lead guitar work takes over the song, offering some very nice melodies over the blast beats and Benton's glutteral vocals. At over seven and a half minutes, the song does drag on though, and with Benton sounding about half as impressive on he did on Dechristianize or on Deicide's Legion, the song remains monotonous and uninteresting past the two minute mark. As a result of extremely long running times, each song is unforgettable, and seems to flow into one another, leaving little to no impression on the listener.

The shortest track on the album (bar the cover or the introductory sample) Hammer Down The Nails is one song that does leave an impression, as Benton and Suzuki pull out all the stops. Suzuki's drumming here is absolutely fantastic and the guitar playing is heavy as fuck. The band cut to a half time section around the two minute mark that is absolutely punishing. The guitars chug along and Benton's vocals sound demonic, as opposed to the monotony that plagued the album's earlier tracks. Suzuki's solos don't last too long like they do on other tracks, which only enhances the song. The second half of the album follows suit and doesn't disappoint as much as the first half, only Benton still seems to be the weak link, lacking the energy found on Dechristianize.

Lyrically, Benton has always been a one trick pony - Here you'll find the usual anti-religious crap that he spews without giving a fuck. It was shocking on the first Deicide album, and now it's just tiring. Benton no longer comes across as a man angered by the religious world, now, after all these years, he comes across as a frustrated teen who's nearing the end of puberty.

Icons Of Evil is fucking boring. Long songs, if done well, can be used to explore different musical ideas and can see the band experiment with different ideas, but here, it seems as if Vital Remains are just repeating riffs one too many times in order to be Satanic - the running time of the album is 66:06 minutes, and that just comes off as silly and childish, contrary to what Benton would like us to believe.

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kalkal50 (4)
Vital Remains’ 7th release again puts religion’s father figure in effigy. But don’t get me wro...

Comments:Add a Comment 
December 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

Benton makes me giggle. Criticism welcome

December 23rd 2012


Pretty much everything from this band has been crap, this doesn't really differ from Dechristianize tbqh.

December 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

I really liked Dechristianize, I just thought this was them trying to recreate the sound found on that record, and doing a shit job of it

December 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I like this and Dechristianize just about the same

December 23rd 2012


dechristianize is a pretty cool song but yeah this band kind of blows

December 23rd 2012


Eh they're not that bad. Just pretty generic.

Digging: Gamma Ray - Land of the Free

December 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I can see why people would get annoyed with how long the songs get drawn out for on this and Dechristianize, it doesn't bother me that much though. Dave Suzuki is the reason this is a 4 for me. Without his guitar work it would probably be more in the 2.5-3 range.

One thing about the lyrical content though, Dave Suzuki wrote all of it. He's credited for the lyrics of all the songs in the CD booklet. So while the lyrics are not really far off from something Benton would've came up with himself, he's not the one who actually wrote them.

Good review.

December 23rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

I disagree with your opinion, but cannot fault your presentation. Great review, but this is higher than a 2.

December 24th 2012


Album Rating: 2.0

Thank you!

@srm - I didn't know that! I just assumed, looking at Benton's lyrics and all that. That's quite interesting actually, because Suzuki does 99% of work in this band, it's more like a one man solo project or something haha

March 12th 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

Great album, it's a grower.

April 23rd 2016


Album Rating: 3.5

i know this is an old review, but it is pretty retarded.

Digging: Palehorse/Palerider - Burial Songs

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