Monday, December 2, 2013

Deicide – In The Minds of Evil

In The Minds of Evil” marks the 11th release from death metal’s favourite blasphemous band, and while the lyrical impact of Deicide has diminished over the years, the music continues to be pummeling. After three albums of Ralph Santolla’s out of place (though enjoyable), melodic ramblings, the band has once again recruited Kevin Quirion, who contributed to a bulk of the songwriting. This simple change has led Deicide to sound like the band that everyone knew from the self-titled debut through “Serpents of the Light”. In particular, the guitar solos are not virtuosic, but instead are some of the most evil guitar patterns written, much in line with what the Hoffman brothers used to do in the band.

Another way the band tried to capture the old-school sound was through the production and song structures. In the case of “To Hell With God”, both of these elements were very obvious and in your face. The production was loud and modern, while the songs were not particularly complex (at least for Deicide). On “In The Minds of Evil”, the band makes use of more intricate riffing and patterns, while hiding behind a less startling production. A song like “Thou Begone” uses riffs with more complicated time signatures in order to bring back the feel of old Deicide. The riffs in general tend to jump between heavily muted power chords, and feature plenty of chugging.

Knowing that Quirion and Jack Owen have done their job, the discussion now needs to turn to the band’s veterans, Steve Asheim and Glen Benton. Asheim’s performances have never been in doubt. Once again, he provides a rhythmically pummeling showing that would put other drummers to shame. Armed with a barrage of blast beats and double bass, Asheim is practically a machine (though his performance never feels mechanical like in bands such as Fleshgod Apocalypse). Moving on to Benton, he mostly retains the style of vocals he used on “To Hell With God”. He no longer gargles his way through the album, but instead uses the brutal and understandable vocal style he was known for in the 90’s. In addition, the harmonized high and low harsh vocals he continues to use still impress. Though they are not as frequent as they used to be, it just makes their appearance more impactful. 

In The Minds of Evil” is not only a great record, but also a surprising one. Although each Deicide album feels unique to me, I’m willing to admit I’m a pretty big fanboy of the band. This release is truly a return to form of one of death metal’s best bands. Picking a favourite track is largely an effort in futility. Songs like the title track, "Godkill", and "End The Wrath of God" are certainly the catchiest, but this album is simply a cohesive force of riffs known as Deicide.

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"In The Minds of Evil"
"Thou Begone"
"End The Wrath of God"

Final Rating
4.4/5 or 88%. 

Written by Scott