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The Stench of Redemption split most Deicide fans into two camps. There was the group that hated everything since Legion, and the group that though Stench was actually a good album. I fell into the latter group. Songs like Homage for Satan and Walk With the Devil in Dreams You Behold seemed like a return to form for the once great band.
I awaited their newest album with rabid excitement. They published the cover artwork a short while before the release, and I remember thinking, “This has to be a joke,” it really is that bad. Still, cover art doesn’t make or break an album.
The album came out and I began to listen eagerly. After my first lesson I was disappointed. Nothing had leapt out at me. I resolved to hold off my judgment until the album got a fair chance. Over the next few days I played the album repeatedly, and it never improved.
This album has no bad parts. There is nothing that makes you go, “What were they thinking?” (Besides the cover art, at least) But while the album has no bad parts, it also has (almost) no good parts. It simply exists, neither positive nor negative, neither enjoyable nor repulsive.
For the most part, the guitars bass and drums are in the background. Yes, they are playing a riff, but not once in the album is it a very interesting riff. They will usually do their own thing for a bit in the beginning, have a repetitive riff or two for the remainder, and then close the song. Quite a few of the riffs are technical, but that doesn’t make them good. They aren’t technical in the Origin or Necrophagist way of, “How the fuck did they do that?” Nor are they technical in the “Look mommy, I can play really fast!” way that Brain Drill is. The technicality, like the riffs seems to simply fade into the background.
If the riffs are so boring and bland, why the hell did I give this album a 35, rather than say, a 20 (or lower)? Well, for once, the vocals save the day. A lot of people seem to hate Glen Benton’s growls. If that description applies to you, leave now. You WILL hate this album. Once a song is established, he never shuts up. For once, a vocalist that doesn’t know when to shut his mouth aids an album. All of the energy in this album comes from the vocals. While the guitars and drums seem content to sit in the background, the vocals are roaring ahead at full speed.
In conclusion, this album was a huge disappointment for me. Especially when compared to Deicide classics like “Deicide” or “Legion” it fails to hold up at all. It has its moments where it manages to get off the ground, but the only song that I would actually classify as good is “Not as Long as We Both Shall Live.” On the whole, if you love Deicide, buy it. Just don’t expect another classic. If you’re new to the band, check out their early albums. If you hate Deicide, stay away. This won’t change your mind.