Pim B. : It is quite hard to review a new Deicide album when you realize you basically always fall back to the self-titled debut from 1990, the 1992 follow-up ‘Legion’ and the preceding demos. On a side note: those demos were recently reissued by Vic Records under the original band name Amon entitled ‘Sacrificial’. To me those older releases can be considered as classics. Deicide was an influential act within the genre. I consciously use the term act, as it sometimes seemed more of a soap opera opposed to an actual band.
When I ignore all this and focus on what the band presents here in the form of 'Overtures Of Blasphemy' I’m moderately positive. When it comes to the production of this twelfth studio-album there are no complaints. As with the two previous albums Deicide recorded this one at the Audio Hammer Studio in Sanford, Florida. And like the 2013 album ’In The Minds Of Evil’ Jason Suecoff (Charred Walls Of The Damned) was at the helm. He gave the album a modern but fitting sound for a death metal album. What did change opposed to that 2013 album is the fact that Jack Owen is out of the band. His replacement is Mark English, who is also active in Monstrosity. Apparently 'Overtures Of Blasphemy' also turned out to be an album on which Glen Benton had some influence on the compositions. On the preceding albums it was mainly drummer Steve Asheim’s input, although guitarist Kevin Quirion also wrote material for that last and this new album. Mark English also wrote some bits and pieces on this new one by the way.
When you listen to the complete album you’ll notice it is quite catchy and filled with flashy guitar work. The 12 songs with a total time of 38 minutes do not sound evil at all. Now that’s exactly something you would expect from Deicide. This is all because of the accessible song writing, which is quite strong if I may add. Still, the songs lack that venom and viciousness that is associated with Deicide. Next to that the band doesn’t put the pedal to the metal all the time, which seemed to be the matter on older albums. I also miss those doubled vocals by Benton. I always saw those as a plus within Deicide’s sound and it gave them credibility. Now it basically is just a solid, melodic and accessible death metal album. That’s okay, but the name Deicide raises expectations and as far as I’m concerned those aren’t delivered. On some internet forum I read a comment that it sounds like Testament with Benton on vocals. To me that is a bit far-fetched, but it gives an idea in what direction you have to think when it comes to this record. I do want to say that I think the artwork by Zbigniew Bielak is cool as fuck.
Conclusion: a fine middle of the road death metal album but it doesn’t measure up with the classics from the past. Give it a good listen first!