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An excruciating listening experience - 27%

Noktorn, March 20th, 2007

I take no real musical schadenfreud from seeing once mighty artists fall into a creative abyss. And so I can derive no joy at all, not even that of malice, from Deicide's 'Insineratehymn', an album of such unmitigated worthlessness that it seems impossible to have sprouted from the loins of the same band who created 1997's sublime 'Serpents Of The Light'. With the advent of the new millennium, Deicide saw fit to revamp their sound yet again, abandoning the previous LP's strains of black metal in favor of a groove-tinged, more modern sound. This was, as you can see, a terrible, terrible decision.

I'm not generally one to criticize a band for modernizing their sound. Bands change and develop, and for obvious reasons often don't want to stagnate in one artistic epoch for too long. However, there is something to be said for consistency, and dedication, and loyalty, and 'Insineratehymn' is one of those albums that exhibits literally none of those qualities. Deicide is a band that was designed specifically to be a stalwart of the Florida death metal scene. Glen Benton himself has even stated in later interviews that death metal is a genre that is supposed to stay relatively close to its roots, and that if it strays to far it ceases to be a member of the genre. Is hindsight 20/20 for our favorite becrossed frontman? What else can explain this horrific turn for the worse? A cash-in is an obvious aspect, but it's really not good enough to be one. And I doubt it's artistic credibility, because Deicide had a very limited supply of that from square one.

So instead of following the path of a wonderful, stirringly artistic album like 'Serpents Of The Light', the band decides simply to abdicate all its quality in favor of what is essentially the death metal equivalent to Pantera, only minus all the things that make Pantera a catchy and memorable entity. There is no 'melody' to speak of; you could confuse this for Meshuggah's rote machine crushing., but lacking the atmosphere and technicality of that band. Riffs are three-chord chugfests; little tremolo picking is to be found here. Glen Benton's interesting, clever lyrics are entirely gone, instead opting for absurd, predictable blasphemy without even the slightest trace of thought. Drumming is like that on 'Once Upon The Cross'; barely even there. Even the band's attempts at 'groove' fail miserably when compared to any of their contemporaries.

'Insineratehymn' is clearly Deicide doing exactly what Deicide shouldn't. Instead of high-speed melodic riffing, we get mid-paced chugging. Instead of fury, we get groove. Instead of wit, we get 'Bible Basher'. 'Insineratehymn' is a completely unacceptable shift from the band's previous work, and works handily as an example of everything the band gave up. Don't even look at the absurd cover art in your local record shop; just buy a second copy of 'Legion' and turn away.