Review Summary: A fresher take on songwriting and commendable instrumental performance makes this album one of Deicide's best releases since the turn of the century.
In truth, Deicide haven't managed to resurrect the success they found with 2006's The Stench of Redemption
, an album which surprised more than was initially expected but sabotaged a few longtime fans in the process, all because a little melody and fluency was injected into the band's otherwise "brootal" Satanic death metal tunes. Till Death Do Us Part
over-egged the proverbial pudding, To Hell with God
played it too safe and In the Minds of Evil
was too forgettable in light of death metal's more recent outstanding achievements. Alas, Glen Benton is still rife with hatred for anything resembling Christianity and Jesus, and as cringeworthy as this may seem, it seems to have prevented Deicide from collapsing over the last decade or so.
Latest album Overtures of Blasphemy
strangely enough seems to have revamped a few aspects however. From the get-go of melancholic albeit fluent opener "One with Satan", the guitar work immediately sounds fresh and beefed up if not necessarily original. The production sounds cleaner and in spite of certain suggestions that Deicide may be about to completely throw in the towel regarding their menace and raw aggression, the songwriting seems to herald another successful venture into different styles of metal. "Crawled from the Shadows" almost takes a right-handed turn (or left, depending on which way of the sub-genre you sway) into the world of traditional black metal before the straightforward rhythms prevent the band from doing so, "Seal the Tomb Below" echoes Soulfly in its Groove-thrash assault and the fiery pace of "Flesh, Power, Dominion" has more in common with modern day hardcore punk than the simplistic death metal formula Deicide have worked on since the mid 00s. Indeed, it seems that Deicide are actually doing something different, though in baby steps rather than great big leaps.
The critics will say "It's almost too good to be true", and indeed it is, but only because of a handful of songs this time as opposed to the second half of the album. The last few albums has seen Deicide unfortunately fall flat by the time track number 5 or 6 comes around. Here, this doesn't really come into effect until "Crucified Soul of Salvation" arrives, and even then the listener will already be used to the multiple sub-genres taken into Deicide's musical repertoire. The aforementioned song only provides more of the same, and of course there will be people driven away by its clear lack of originality. The same can be said for "Denying the Sacred" and "Consumed By Hatred", but the guitar work this time is always ready to lift things out of stagnation. The solo work is impeccable at times, even arriving at the introduction of some of Overtures of Blasphemy
's finest songs. Even regarding the more filler-based material named previously, you get the sense that this time around Deicide are actually pulling off a near 40-minute album consistently and not, without me sounding like a smart-arsed juvenile here, showing their age. It actually sounds as if Deicide care about the full product of what they've done, not just the better half of it.
Sure, there's nothing in Overtures of Blasphemy
that will make you remember the glory days of Legion
(nothing released since the early 90s with the exception of The Stench of Redemption
actually has), but it doesn't need to. Nobody is expecting surprising results from this band in 2018, because they know what they're going to get and more importantly, that they'll enjoy it. It's great stuff done by Deicide's perception of high standards, with a little extra flair added to most of the songs to make Overtures of Blasphemy
that little bit more tolerable than the last few releases.