"Overtures of Blasphemy"

 by Thor

One of the forbearers of death metal—a Mount Rushmore member, if you will—Deicide return with their forty-trillionth album entitled “Overtures of Blasphemy.”  And you know what?  It’s surprisingly great.

So, Glen Benton, Steve Asheim and…whoever the hell’s playing the guitars in this outfit right now have been making the same brew of satanic death metal for just about 30 years.  In the ‘90s it was excellent and Deicide’s catalog from that decade is exceptional.  Then they released two clunkers, and original guitarists—brothers Brian and Eric Hoffman—left the band in an ugly split.  

Deicide and I have been merely acquaintances ever since.  I’ve heard and enjoyed some their output over the past decade and a half, I just stopped paying it much more attention than that.  And while I don’t anticipate that changing much, I didn’t think I’d like “Overtures of Blasphemy” much, either.  I was wrong.

“Overtures of Blasphemy” stays true to the Deicide ethos: Fuck Christianity, so no surprise there, but sonically this thing is both different and great.  Musically, Deicide is in some dimension between the old school and now.  It feels true to the origins of U.S. death metal, but it does not sound out of place on the current extreme metal landscape.  The songs are dynamic within themselves compositionally, but also relative to each other.  Some songs are thrash-heavy.  Some are more melodic.  Some are punk-inspired.  It all works.

The production here is really interesting and mostly successful, too.  The band has opted for a more organic, less processed sound that’s purposefully and punkishly rough around the edges.  I hate saying things sound “raw,” but…damn it, it’s raw, OKAY?  I don’t love the sound of the drum overheads or any of the spot mics on the cymbals, but that’s about the only negative that sticks out.

If you’re a fan of the better regarded entries among Deicide’s canon, you’d be wise to give “Overtures of Blasphemy” a try.