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Sounds exactly like you expected. - 68%

Zodijackyl, June 22nd, 2012

Remember all of those Deicide albums after the first two? This sounds like them. There's a blur of fast Deicide-style riffing, some neoclassical shredding that stands out from the riffing, a Glen Benton clone on vocals, and some guitar wankery that sounds like Necrophagist. Most of it is exactly what you would expect from this. I'll spare the story, because if you aren't familiar with the story of Deicide and the Hoffman brothers, then you probably wouldn't stumble across this self-released album that relies solely on their fame and legacy for promotion.

The drumming is a bit different than Deicide - there's more blasting, though when there isn't blasting, there's still fast double bass. The bass just fills in the low end below the guitars, it's nothing special. The vocalist emulates Glen Benton effectively - in a way, that's lame, in another way, he's pretty damn good. The new guys don't stray much from the formula that the old guys perfected so well that they haven't tried much of anything new in 20 years. They're top notch for Deicide-clone death metal, so I suppose that's excellent if you're really into that.

As you would expect when the guitarists are running the show, there's some extra guitar solos and wankery towards the end of the album - the first few tracks are more relentless and straight riffing, but the lead guitars appear more as the album goes on. The riffing relies a lot on chaotic, dissonant tremolo picking, for a convenient comparison, let's just say it sounds like everything these guys have done in the past, because they did their thing again. This time around they have put more of an emphasis on things being technical, but other than the solos getting eight years flashier than the last album they played on, it's standard regulation Deicide.

Unfortunately, it's just not the same quality as their past works. Death metal often loses an edge, almost losing its honesty and feeling when it's refined while trying to retain the same feeling. They played with vengeance and passion and put together a masterpiece in 1990, they refined that to a furious, technical, higher-speed album in 1992, and since then they haven't really lived up to those, but they're put up a good enough effort that nobody complained until they deliberately half-assed two albums to get out of a bad record deal they signed a decade before. This is sort of a continuation of their comeback album from 2004, with the guitar work getting flashier and a bit less chaotic. While I am thankful that the production has a dark sound that compliments the music nicely, the whole album is still far from the atmosphere and feel of their early works, and it doesn't even feel as chaotic and furious as their mid-90s efforts.

The bottom line is that your enjoyment of this album can be directly linked to how much you like Deicide's past works. If you loved everything, you'll enjoy this. If you liked the first two but were indifferent towards the rest, you'll like it at first then forget about it. If you don't like Deicide, then you wouldn't listen to this album in the first place.

The Hoffman brothers have done as aging folks in Florida tend to do - they shot par for the course, but they had fun doing it.