15 June 2008

Album of the Week: Deicide (1990)

Deicide, along with such contemporaries as Morbid Angel and Obituary, was one of the biggest names to come out of the fertile Florida Death Metal scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Glen Benton and company released two demos under the name Amon, but adapted their new name in 1990, the same year in which they would release their autonymous debut album.

1990's Deicide is a prime example of old-school Death Metal (as well as one of the most successful). It features the muddy production that was typical of the era, with down-tuned guitars and deep, pounding drums. Benton's vocals are extra-distorted, just to give the album that little extra demonic spice (indeed, this is one of the hallmarks of Deicide's sound). The bass (played by Benton as well) is fairly prominent in the mix, which is something of a departure from the extreme metal standard.

The dual guitar work of the Hoffman brothers is praiseworthy; every song on the album is loaded with chunky, heavy riffs, with intermittent shrieking solos. There is plenty of variety in the rhythm section, thanks to the the time changes and breakdowns that occur. Standout tracks include "Carnage in the Temple of the Damnded" (a song about the Jonestown massacre) and "Dead by Dawn", which may well be one of the best Death Metal songs of all time. Deicide is a milestone in the history of Death Metal, and an essential item for any metal collection.

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