RSS Feed

In The Minds Of Evil

Century Media (2013)
Rating: 7/10

I think it’s fair to say that Florida’s kings of evil, Deicide, have never recaptured the true spirit of those first two albums; 1990’s self-titled debut and its follow up from 1992, Legion. There was something so controversial about these Tampa maniacs, mostly in the opinions of frothing frontman Glen Benton.

I was actually a big fan of 2004’s Scars Of The Crucifix, but over the last two decades their output has been somewhat inconsistent musically with only 2006’s Stench Of Redemption hinting at past horrors.

And so we come to studio album number 11 in the band’s discography. In The Minds Of Evil, the follow-up to 2011’s To Hell With God, is another slice of brutal death metal. It’s an 11-track outing, and features guitarist Kevin Quirion who makes his Deicide recording debut. Quirion (Order Of Ennead / Shadow Society) replaces Ralph Santolla, although it has long been argued that the true Deicide sound died when Eric Hoffman and Brian Hoffman left the band in 2004, resulting in patchy releases thereafter. Even so, it’s been a case of onwards, although not necessarily upwards for founding members Benton and drummer Steve Asheim, but they’ve got this far relying on what can at times be best described as unflattering extreme metal.

In The Minds Of Evil is a slight departure from To Hell With God in that it boasts less melody, opting for a more straight forward approach, but due to so many line-up issues over the years it seems that Deicide may have finally settled on a stable formation giving this record a feel of confidence, even if there’s nothing on display here to suggest the Floridian’s are back to their frightful best.

As expected, Benton is still as demonic as ever, although his vocal display this time round appears more focused and reliant on old school values but with the opening title track I’m immediately drawn to the melody which Asheim stated would not be as apparent! It’s a catchy track that rarely gathers blistering pace and features a catchy chorus too, and this theme seems dominant throughout as the combo skip quickly to mid-tempo carnage of ‘Thou Begone’, featuring some impressive drumming from Asheim. Again, this track has an old school whiff but also appears groove-based amidst the occasional spurts of speed.

Deicide circa 2013 certainly have an eye for catchy riffs, and despite the unholy naïvety of the lyrics there is a sense of purpose this time round as ‘Godkill’ chugs out of the darkness to scathe the light. This is one of the album’s fastest moments, but the reality is it is rather mediocre death metal without any real noticeable thrills. While the short and sweet ‘Beyond Salvation’ seems to begin like every death metal song over the last 20 or so years, finally slowing its pace and offering some intriguing leads and sturdy drums – Benton is less bark more bite but he’s not the formidable God-slaying character of yesteryear.

‘Misery Of One’ again mixes speed and Quirion comes to the fore, but all too sporadically for my liking. The album seems to lack any real depth or variety, although ‘Between The Flesh And The Void’ begins with sinister aplomb before resorting to that rather predictable froth.

‘Even The Gods Can Bleed’ is one of the finest cuts with its fantastic leads and crushing weight, and it is a relief that the multi-layered bellows and squawks of Benton have been erased for a more straightforward barrage of hate. ‘End The Wrath Of God’ seems to be one of the finest examples of the band at ease with itself, and tracks such as ‘Fallen To Silence’ seem to boast more energy than some of the more stagnant previous efforts. Again the leads are a talking point, often pulling the more ordinary tracks out of the mire, and while there is nothing overtly technical about the Deicide approach, Quirion is the star of the show, adding guile and bite to what could have been another disappointing instalment.

I’m unsure if we’ll ever see or hear another classic Deicide opus, but for now it’s great to hear the band as a settled beast. Yes there are moments on the album which drag and have that air of familiarity, but there are also periods of note too which suggest Deicide have not lost the will to reign. While the novelty of their anti-Christian vision wore off many a moon ago, there’s still life in that old demonic dog yet and In The Minds Of Evil should please most death metal fans. But whether it’s enough for the diehards, we’ll have to wait and see?

Neil Arnold

<< Back to Album & EP Reviews

Related Posts via Categories