DEICIDE - “Crucifixion: Early Years”

By Dark Starr

I have to admit that I've never been a big fan of death metal. This band and this set might really change my mind on that. This set features the group's first two albums along with a disc of demos dating back to the days when they went by the name "AMON." The thing is, those demos don't really sound like demos. This is quite the strong set. If there's ever a gateway to death metal, this might be it. 

The first disc features the debut eponymous album, which was released in 1990. The album opens with stabbing lines of guitar that serve as the intro to "Lunatic of God's Creation." That sets the stage for an intense and brutal disc with no real letting up. Highlights for me include the song "Dead by Dawn," which has some very alien sounding sections and some monstrous vocals, along with a Lovecraft reference, but drawn through the filter of the "Evil Dead" movies. "Carnage in the Temple of the Damned" is another standout featuring recordings of the Jonestown massacre at the beginning and some very inhuman sounding vocals. 

The second CD is devoted to “Legion”, the band's second album from 1992. The opening song, "Satan Spawn, the Caco- Daemon," has some pretty crazy sound effects, goats and a demonic voice at the start of it, but then launches into intense and extreme death metal from there. It is a great teaser for what is to come on the set. "Dead But Dreaming" saw them wandering again into Lovecraft territory,  making it another standout for me. 

The third disc features demos from the days when the band were called "AMON" The sound wasn't as solidified and focused on the earlier stuff. I should say that they don't really sound like demos, though. They are more complete songs and well recorded. We get some thrash stuff, hardcore punk leanings and more. They do still take things in the more death zones, too. Again non-human sounding vocals are present on a lot of the songs, including some demonic ones. In some ways, I think I like the third disc the best, but a lot of that comes from the variety it brings.