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Deicide: The Stench of Redemption

If you didn't know any better, you'd think after listening to The Stench of Redemption that death metal legends Deicide were either really pissed off or felt they had something to prove. Well, perhaps the truth is a little bit of both. The band had a decent comeback effort with 2004's Scars of the Crucifix, but it's been a while since the world took the band seriously as a deadly force in the world of death metal. That's all about to change once everyone has a chance to hear The Stench of Redemption, a truly brutal and punishing record that is the best thing the band has put together since their early releases. Deicide recently also parted ways with the Hoffman brothers, and it was not a good split, so the search was on for two new axe-slingers that would help bassist/vocalist Glen Benton and drummer Steve Asheim basically say "screw you" to the departed Hoffman's, and in comes former Cannibal Corpse member Jack Owen, and former Iced Earth/Death member Ralph Santolla. Honestly, they couldn't have found two more perfect guitar players at this stage in their careers. The addition of Owen and Santolla has totally invigorated the band, as now Deicide has two legitimate "shredders" in their ranks, who can not only display more than their share of technical prowess to interject complex & melodic guitar solos, but can also lay down the brutal death metal riffage that the music needs.

Fans of Deicide will no doubt revel in the hate-filled and Satanic lyrical content here, spewed out in gutteral death-growl brilliance by Benton. Coupled with Asheim's manic blast beats and the energetic twin guitar attack of the new blood, it's one relentless and brutal piece after another. Highlights? Well, there's really too many to mention, but some of the best tracks are the manic and blast beat hysteria of "Homage For Satan", the guitar orgasm of "Walk With the Devil in Dreams Your Behold", and the brutal 1-2 punch of the openers "The Stench of Redemption" and "Death To Jesus". Not since Slayer's Reign in Blood has metal this extreme, this fast, and this blasphemous, sounded so good, and so fresh. Santolla and Owen offer up so many juicy leads throughout this album, and the great thing is the solos are melodic and technical at the same time. When they fire off each other...lookout!

An interesting bonus is the cover of Deep Purple's "Black Night", which at first starts off pretty unrecognizable, but eventually you start to hear familiar themes. Overall, The Stench of Redemption is one of the most powerful death metal albums you will hear this year. Yes they are pissed off, yes they have something to prove, and with The Stench of Redemption Deicide are going to show the world that they mean business.

Track Listing
1. The Stench of Redemption
2. Death to Jesus
3. Desecration
4. Crucified For the Innocence
5. Walk With the Devil in Dreams You Behold
6. Homage to Satan
7. Not of This World
8. Never to Be Seen Again
9. The Lord's Sedition
10. Black Night

Added: October 23rd 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Deicide Website
Hits: 6094
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Deicide: The Stench of Redemption
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-10-23 15:29:19
My Score:

A lot of musicians promise a kick-ass return if their last disc proves lackluster. Sadly though, once they're going downhill, their new album doesn't do much for their fans either. Thankfully, in Deicide's case, The Stench of Redemption more than meets the expectations, just as Glen Benton had promised.

This has partly to do with the renewed lineup of the group. Long-time guitarists Eric and Brian Hoffman left the band in 2004 for personal reasons, and even though it was they who played on some of Deicide's most important releases, their departure has certainly motivated the rest of the band in a positive way. New guitarists, Jack Owen (ex-Cannibal Corpse) and Ralph Santolla (ex-Iced Earth, Death), have breathed new life into the Deicide's music. The writing is tight and the performance rock-solid. If you like Benton's vocals and bass playing, there's no chance you will be disappointed here. Drummer Steve Asheim hasn't played like this for years. The album features crushing blast beats galore that won't let go from start to finish. The guitar tandem's barrage of direct riffage is grim yet melodic. Santolla's sense of melody seems to have been carried over, except that he hasn't played this fast and vicious in a long time. Both players lay down impressive solos, but it is their twin guitar harmonies and unison leads that make this album a real winner. This is one of the heaviest albums of the year, but it's all done within a melodic blueprint and an understanding of harmony. Besides the head-spinning shred-fest on the title track, the duo also offer a mighty twin guitar riffage and complex stop-start moments during the course of the tunes.

Other highlights include the monstrously epic opening of "Desecration", complete with raging growls and fast, melodic guitar runs, as well as some vague Nile-like eastern scales; the totally unapologetic "Homage for Satan", a song that recalls the band's earliest material in that it is relentlessly bleak and heavy; and the superb acoustic guitar resolution on the final song "The Lord's Sedition", which is not too common on a Deicide disc. The gloomy, atmospheric intro slowly builds to a mesmerizing twin guitar harmony that is both rich in numerous chord changes and melodic signatures. It almost feels like an excerpt from Ralph Santolla's solo album yet it fits the rest of the songs excellently. Once that melody is brilliantly executed, the band dives headlong into crushing aggression, highlighted by thick rhythms and wall-of-sound drums.

This is one of the best albums Deicide have released in a long time. I hope they continue to make more music with their current lineup. US death metal doesn't get better than this.

Deicide: The Stench of Redemption
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-09-11 05:53:24
My Score:

I went into this record not knowing what to expect since I never really followed the career and music of Deicide all I did know was that despite my limited knowledge of them that they were one of the more respected of the Death Metal bands in the US. The Stench Of Redemption is an album that will remind you of what makes these guys get the level of respect in the genre that they do. To define this as one of the most pummeling albums I have heard in recent memory and indeed it is, would be an understatement. It is as brutal as Hell in terms of lyrical content and the subject matter which was to be expected of them and this has always been the case with Deicide. The band is also a little different for those who have not paid attention to recent goings on in their life as the Hoffman brothers are no longer part of the roster of members and sadly this would not be an amicable split for the group. Yet, instead of suffering the losses, the remaining two enlisted the talents of Jack Owen (formerly of Cannibal Corpse) and Ralph Santolla (formerly of Iced Earth and Death) to fill the roles and this would be a great match for the music they would record for this album. The two are a perfect compliment to the blast beat drumming of Steve Asheim and the guttural growls of bassist/singer Glen Benton. It seems quite clear that the band with this new membership has found a new level of life breathed into their cause and perhaps this will intensify their musical reach in the larger Metal arena as well. The band truly approached this album with a pissed off manner and it shows on every track from start to finish. Just listen to the albums title opener, "Death To Jesus" or "Homage For Satan" to know that they mean business more than ever before with this one. The whole thing is loaded with the hate-spewing anti-Christian and Satanic lyrics that are clearly not for the faint of heart or overly pious. It reminded me of how I first viewed Slayer's Reign In Blood as the level of lyrical and musical brutality was along the same lines. I think the album will impress a lot of the Extreme Metal fans due to the execution and technical skills showcased on the recording. The band even does a cover of the Deep Purple song "Black Night" which while a great song, is a weird choice for a Death Metal band to attack. Its largely unrecognizable and blows right by you in minutes but I guess for a Death Metal version of Classic Rock it was done pretty well.

There is a good chance that The Stench Of Redemption is one of the heaviest albums you will hear in 2006 and perhaps beyond as well as being the bands best effort to date. If Blasphemous Metal with blistering lead guitar work and thunderous drums are your interest then you really need to look into this record. Deicide is looking for heads with this one and I am convinced they shall find quite a few for their mantelpiece.

» Reader Comments:

Deicide: The Stench of Redemption
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2007-02-15 07:40:40
My Score:

The one undeniable fact about this cd is that it's a guitar players wet dream! I believe that it is the bands finest recording to date, due to this fact. The production lacks a litttle clarity and seperation, but those solos really pack a punch!!! Interested?

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