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The Stench of Redemption was a terrific album that showed Benton and Asheim recapture the past glory of the band with the help of Cannibal Corpse’s jack Owen and mercenary wanker Ralph Santolla. It truly was an album that captured the band at its creative peak and saw Asheim and Benton take the band in a new and challenging direction while remaining true to their death metal roots.
Till Death Do Us Part is the follow up to that album and was released earlier this year. Santolla is no longer with the band but comes in to lay down the solos as a session musician and Steve Asheim is still handling the bulk of the songwriting. To add to the excitement that this release caused it’s also being touted as possibly the last album by the band. Not sure how much truth there is in that last statement but Benton’s disillusionment with the scene has been long documented.
To be honest when I first heard the album I couldn’t get past the intro, The Beginning of the End. Slow, moody and with a lead guitar flourish from Santolla it sounded nothing like the Deicide I love. A warning for the old time fans of the band. This album’s going to take more than one cursory listen to get into and is probably the most demanding of the band’s albums.
For the most part, the band has managed to avoid re-making Stench. If anything, I feel like this album sounds a bit like a cross between Serpents of the Light and Insineratehymn while retaining that new found sense of aggression and atonal melodies from Stench of Redemption. For the most part it works quite well. Till Death Do Us Part, Worthless Misery, Hate of All Hatreds and Severed Ties are among the best songs that the band has ever written. Not As Long As We Both Shall Live has a Legion moment somewhere in the middle that is to die for and a vicious guitar harmony.
Santolla is reined in and compared to his work on the last Obituary, sounds remarkably restrained. Glen Benton sounds like his usual acidic bile spitting self while Asheim is rock solid behind the drum kit. I think the presence of Jack Owen in the band has really given Deicide a shot in the arm and added to their fury. The riffs on this album at times attain monstrous proportions and there really isn’t a bad song here.
This might be the band’s last album and (hopefully) it might not. Whatever the future of this band, as a fan I’m pretty thrilled with this album. A more than worthy successor to The Stench of Redemption, Till Death Do Us Part sees the band blasting away down a familiar path while still throwing in enough tricks and surprises to avoid all accusations of complacency.
Originally written for http://www.kvltsite.com