Thursday, February 24, 2011

Deicide - To Hell With God Review

 Glen Benton is an odd character.  I'm not sure if it has anything to do with Florida's horrible weather, or the fact that he's just a goofball, but he is a man who obviously needs some sort of counseling.  If you need further proof, check out Till Death Do Us Part, which had the most awful "I hate my ex" lyrics this side of Remembering Never.  I almost imagined Glen sporting the "br00tal" kid look, with his hair covering half of his face, just so people can't see the sadness of a broken heart in his weary eyes when I first listened to that pile of shit album.  Still, he marches on, with his never-fading inverted cross on his forehead, in his personal war against God, also known in the Midwest as Tom Petty.  More than ten years full of lame albums have passed, but good, ol' Glen and the mischievous gang have decided to revisit their mid-90's sound this time, and they delivered a good, yet unsatisfying record.

Technically speaking, there is nothing wrong with To Hell With God, even though that Stryper-inspired pun made me cringe the first time I read it.  The songs are a lot better than those featured on Till Death Do Us Part, especially when Jack Owen and Ralph Santolla came up with better riffs this time around, and the album has a vibe somewhat akin to Serpents Of The Light, but it fails at keeping the listener interested for more than a few songs.  Every Deicide album suffers from this, as I can't say I've enjoyed any of their albums to the fullest, but I do like some songs from every album.  However, I must say I do enjoy the somewhat "melodic" approach of the album.  Of course, it has Mr. Santolla shredding on almost every song, which can be a bit too much for some listeners, but I prefer him doing this on this album than on an Obituary album.  Also, it is good to hear that Glen Benton still has some energy left after all these years of screaming like a lunatic.  But these elements are not enough to make them stand out in an over-saturated genre filled with has-been bands (every Kam Lee project).

In the end, this album has a few good songs that will have you making Metal faces in the privacy of your odd-smelling basement.  Standout tracks include the very Jack Owen-esque Angels in Hell, Servant Of The Enemy, and Witness of Death, which feels like an outtake from Once Upon The Cross.  While these songs are pretty good, the rest of the album fails to keep the intensity of this handful of songs.  Maybe I've been spoiled by the nothing-less-than-stellar performance Glen Benton gave on those Vital Remains records, but I know they can do better.  As one of the premier Floridian Death Metal bands from the old Roadrunner days, I hope they are not resting on their fan's undying nostalgia, because I don't think we need ten more years of mediocre releases from what should have been the biggest Death Metal band to ever come out of the United States.

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