Almost 21 years since their legendary self-titled debut, a few things are still strikingly apparent about Deicide. They hate Christianity and they're pissed off - the title of their 2011 full-length album, To Hell With God, almost immediately confirms both of these points. Deicide may never reach the heights of their early days again, but To Hell With God shows the band in a confident state with some killer slabs of death metal to go along with it. I'd recommend all fans of Deicide (or people who've given up on them) to check this out - it's certainly among their better albums. Although they're now a group of middle-aged adults, Deicide is still filled with enough energy and anger to show the newer death metal acts who's boss!
The music on To Hell With God is a standard Deicide affair - expect brutal death metal with killer solos and technical riffing here. The lyrics here are (as expected) extremely blasphemous and anti-Christian. Whether or not you agree with the message behind lyrics doesn't hide the fact that I find many of Glen Benton's lyrics to be immature and underdeveloped. There are a few decent lines here and there, but I find the vast majority of them to be childish outbursts against Christianity. It's an acquired taste, though, and people who enjoy anti-Christian lyrics with very little "substance" should love them here. The music isn't much different from what Deicide has been doing for the last 20+ years. This is high-quality death metal with plenty of excellent solos and riffs, even if it lacks a bit in the originality department. At a 35:43 running time, this album is over pretty quickly (which is a positive, in my opinion). This is short enough to remain powerful and memorable without ever getting too long and tedious.
Of course, the musicians in Deicide are top-notch. The guitar work from Jack Owen and Ralph Santolla is stellar - some of the solos on To Hell With God can be ranked among the best in death metal. Steve Asheim's drumming is also excellent and professional; he's one of the best drummers in extreme metal. Glen Benton's bass playing isn't particularly outstanding, but he does a solid job. Glen's vocals have received a bit of flak on "new" Deicide albums, but his performance on To Hell With God is pretty impressive. He handles the deep guttural growls and high-pitched demon shrieks very well and seldom does he sounds weak in any way. The production is also an enormous positive. Mark Lewis really found an excellent sound for this album.
To Hell With God can't be ranked up there with Deicide's best, but it's a high-quality death metal effort that should undoubtedly please their fans. What it's lacking in the originality department is certainly made up for by the killer death metal you'll find on this record. Deicide isn't as original as they were 20 years ago, but To Hell With God proves that they're still a noteworthy band who knows how to completely kick ass! This isn't the best album these Floridians have ever created, and it's not a particularly unique release, but it's certainly above average and worth a listen from death metal fans. 3.5 stars are deserved for this recommendable, albeit clichéd, effort from Deicide.
1. To Hell With God (4:21)
2. Save Your (3:32)
3. Witness of Death (3:05)
4. Conviction (3:15)
5. Empowered by Blasphemy (3:16)
6. Angels in Hell (3:12)
7. Hang in Agony Until You're Dead (3:59)
8. Servant of the Enemy (3:17)
9. Into the Darkness You Go (3:32)
10. How Can You Call Yourself a God (4:15)