Release DetailsLABEL Earache
RELEASED ON 8/22/2006
The Stench of Redemption
posted on 8/2006 By:
Before tapping this review out this morning, I broke out Scars Of The Crucifix after months of neglect from my being bombarded with new releases, one of them being Deicide’s newest practice in blasphemy, The Stench Of Redemption. Considering all that’s come out since then, Scars…has aged magnificently, but the changes that have occurred since the departure of the Hoffman brothers doesn’t seem to have weakened the band in any way, in fact, parts of The Stench Of Redemption present Deicide in a light, or darkness, that we’ve never heard before. In time, this may very well prove to be the most sanguine jewel in the crown of this infamously inconsistent death metal entity, and for the time being ranks as one of the strongest discs for any veteran band this year.
From the first few seconds it becomes clear this isn’t going to be an ordinary Deicide album. Self-produced and engineered by Jim Morris, the sound is much thicker and burlier than the crystal-clear Scars…, and may be, with no slag against Neil Kernon, the best sounding disc the group has ever put forth. The bottom end is just disemboweling on this, and features a drum sound that makes me wonder if Erik Rutan wasn’t brought in to be a ghost producer. What also becomes noticeable is the increased density to the material overall, and not just due to the uncivilized tones of the guitars, but from the heaviness of the riffs and arrangements themselves, along with Glen Benton’s mostly guttural vocal delivery.
Contemplative and systematic in execution, The Stench Of Redemption shows Steve Asheim using his formidable new recourses to their fullest potential by affixing more voluminous melody than the band has attempted before, and exercising some truly progressive musicality with his songwriting while upping the brutality levels on all sides. When the pace slows down, the riffs will actually become more intricate at times, the harmonies more expressive, and the rhythms played under Benton’s growl churn and rip like a knife being twisted into your belly. The deep influx of melody makes for a very warm listen on tracks like “Desecration”, which sees Ralph Santolla throwing down one hell of a solo among many spectacular, sophisticated solos to be heard. Leads and harmony fills provided by Jack Owen and Ralph actually enhance the main rhythms of each song in a cohesive way, building each track thoughtfully into well-rounded piece of twisted death metal barbarism.
The addition of these melodies also stretches the vision of Deicide to a wider spectrum, on “Crucified For The Innocence” the riffs flirt with Immortal’s frosted tremolo of the Battles In The North album, and “The Lord’s Sedition” features a grandiose Santolla solo to introduce the tune which has a quirky, almost Kreator-esque rhythm arrangement running under the ornate leads as the song accelerates to high speed. Benton keeps his high and low vocals very separate overall compared to past works, making for an experience that sounds more accessible than ever, but remains entirely uncompromising.
If Scars Of The Crucifix was the rejuvenation of Deicide, then The Stench Of Redemption is surely its conquering strike. A typically blasphemous album full of Benton’s disdain for Christianity at every turn, at last, the level of musicality seems to have reached the point the band should have been at years ago. Not only has the Asheim/Owen/Santolla songwriting combination advanced Deicide’s sound, but Benton makes enough of a confident statement with his own bellicose performance to help make this one of the most tenacious albums of 2006, and their best album since Once Upon The Cross. Not only did they step up to the plate, they bashed ya’ in the head with the bat on the way there. A flat-out barnstormer.
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To Hell With God
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