For Fans Of
It was over two decades ago that Floridian death metal outfit Deicide first released their self-titled, blasphemy-laden debut LP, leading the way for the essential ‘Legion’ and ‘Once Upon the Cross’. Since, the quartet have had a steady output of fresh pagan jams, with 2011’s ‘To Hell with God’ proving there was still plenty of hellfire burning under the band’s collective asses. On 11th album ‘In the Minds of Evil’, Deicide serve up a solid albeit safe release that can suffer to feeling irritatingly formulaic, losing much of the innate ferocity of prior work in the process.
As pummeling guitars and frontman Glen Benton’s signature, misanthropic growl introduce the opening title track, there’s an initial strident energy that’s fairly promising. Longtime drummer Steve Asheim has been a consistent force behind the kit since the band’s inception and delivers an unrelenting, furious performance throughout the album.
Over the next 40 minutes, however, the overall energy progressively flounders, without the sort of direction to properly harness it. Tracks like ‘Misery of One’ turn to drudgery fast, broken up by admittedly quite engaging solos. Meanwhile, Benton sounds less characteristically menacing and often bored, failing to move much beyond a fairly monotonous grunt. It’s far less impactful – they’re the same Deicide songs Deicide have been making for years, but without most of the spark. The guitar work is doubtless at its best when it strays from tedious chugging and moves into more distinct territory such as on ‘Kill the Light of Christ’, a clear highlight.
Ultimately, it’s not that ‘In the Minds of Evil’ is a poor album as such. It’s that more than ever Deicide feel like a workhorse pushing through resiliently but without any real moments of excellence.
There are things that work on ‘In the Minds of Evil’, with some interesting, melodic death-riffery, Asheim’s reliably scorching drums and occasional, glorious moments of the band’s trademark sonic terror. For the most part, however, the album lacks the intensity and ingenuity needed to make it memorable. If Deicide in 2013 are largely treading familiar ground with considerably less chutzpah, one’s probably better off listening to the classics – there’s a lot less to get excited about this time around.
1. In the Minds of Evi
2. Thou Begone
4. Beyond Salvation
5. Misery of One
6. Between the Flesh and the Void
7. Even the Gods Can Bleed
8. Trample the Cross
9. Banished by Evil
10. Kill the Light of Christ
11. End the Wrath of God