“To Hell with God”

By Thor

Deicide’s new album, “To Hell with God” is a long time coming.  Simply put, it’s the best album since 1997’s “Serpents of the Light”.  There have been other albums that have been merely okay, but they didn’t sound much like the band whose name adorns their covers.  However, this album is vintage Deicide, but with better playing and superior sound quality.  The chances are that if you’re reading this review, then you’re familiar with the band so I’m not going to waste too much space trying to explain what this album sounds like.
Instead, let me explain how we got here:
Following 1997, the band grew dissatisfied with their contract and put out a couple albums (in 2000 and 2001 respectively) designed only to satisfy that contract and thereby be done with it.  These albums sounded like you’d expect them to sound when a band mails it in.  Then Deicide released a decent album in 2004 called “Scars of the Crucifix”, but subsequent band turmoil would derail any potential return to form.  After the departure of ax-wielding brothers Brian and Eric Hoffman, and the addition of their replacements, Jack Owen (ex-Cannibal Corpse) and Ralph Santolla (ex-Death), Deicide had upped their talent level, but lost their musical identity for a couple albums.  Glen Benton fronted Vital Remains for a bit while Deicide went on hiatus and then all but disappeared.

Then in February 2011, Deicide came out of nowhere – from where I stand, anyway – and released “To Hell with God”.  It’s a long way from the inverted cross scars, controversial interviews, and gimmicks – it embodies the maturity of a band that’s as important to its genre as Elvis was to his.
“To Hell with God” is the third album by the current lineup and it absolutely slays.  Steve Asheim’s drumming is better than ever, a nice blend of tight blasts and old school triplet-grooves, ala Slayer’s Reign in Blood.  The guitar work is light years ahead of any output from the brothers Hoffman, and Benton’s vocal blasphemy sounds both renewed and better than it has in ages.  The latter is a welcome attribute as the vocals are a particular weakness on Deicide’s last album, “Till Death Do Us Part”.
This album seems to have received the attention to detail that’s been lacking on the majority of Deicide’s albums since the mid 90’s.  Nothing feels like filler and no songs sound under developed, but rather everything is dynamic and unique.  “To Hell with God” will appeal to fans of the first wave of American Death metal in the vein of Morbid Angel, Monstrosity, Suffocation, and of course Deicide.