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Every Living Thing You Knew Will Never Be The Same - 90%

Twisted_Psychology, July 13th, 2011

Originally published at http://www.suite101.com

Unless you count the B-sides collection known as The Long Tracks of Danzig that came out in 2007, Deth Red Sabaoth is the first studio album that the band has released since 2004's Circle Of Snakes.

As expected, there have been a number of member changes over the last few years and this album is the first to feature Type O Negative/Seventh Void drummer Johnny Kelly alongside Prong/Ministry guitarist Tommy Victor and dear old Glenn Danzig. Oddly enough, touring bassist Steve Zing is nowhere to be found on here and Danzig himself takes care of the rhythms instead.

When considering how much the band was bragging about how this album's songs were recorded using 70s equipment, the incredibly old school sound on here shouldn't be too surprising. This album fits in incredibly well with the band's first four efforts and often feels more like a third disc to The Lost Tracks compilation rather than an album that was recorded in this century!

It successfully combines the bluesy sound that appeared on Lucifuge with the heaviness from How the Gods Kill and the downtrodden gloom of 4p. In this sense, it serves as a natural evolution while acting as if the last four albums never happened, the latter move more than likely appreciated by the band's more cynical fans...

And despite the rather shaky lineup, the production helps this sound like one of the band's biggest group efforts in quite some time. Having been drowned out on the last few thanks to some imbalanced instrumental productions, Danzig's vocals are placed on the front lines and successfully conjure the howling croons that several listeners thought had withered long ago.

Victor also seems to have changed his guitar playing approach and takes on a muddier approach that is a far cry from the loud crunch on Circle Of Snakes, often sounding a lot like former axeman John Christ as a result. The rhythm section also gets a few moments to shine and particularly manages to stand out on the incredibly bluesy "Black Candy."

The songs themselves manage to cover a lot of ground though there is very little on here that faster than a mid-tempo grind. "Hammer of the Gods" starts the album off on a particularly heavy note and "The Revengeful" follows it up with some driving grooves and pitch harmonic fixations. From there the album mostly goes between pounding blues numbers and more melancholic tunes with "Black Candy," "On A Wicked Night," and "Deth Red Moon" in particular standing out for their memorable melodies and solid vocals.

Also interesting are the two parts that make up "Pyre Of Souls;" the soft/heavy contrasts may be a little gimmicky but there are still some good quality passages to be found. The structure of the two parts reminds one of the "Suicide Note" pieces that Pantera put out over ten years before.

But with the revival of an old sound comes the tendency to use some derivative riffs and melodies, and this album isn't too much of an exception. Along the album's production and general vibes, there are several segments on here that may remind listeners of songs from past albums. "Left Hand Rise Above" sounds very similar to "Going Down to Die" and "Deth Red Moon" has a vibe very similar to that of "Dominion" and "I Don't Mind the Pain."

In addition, "Night Star Hel" features an introduction that sounds a lot like "Girl" and a closing section that is similar to the faster part on "Godless." Fortunately it doesn't really approach the realms of plagiarism and feels like an homage to the band's past more than anything.
Next to the Classics

Circle Of Snakes may have a great album on its own terms, but Deth Red Sabaoth somehow manages to go above it and stands strong next to some of the classics that made Glenn Danzig's self-titled group a household name.

Going with a more basic approach was the best thing that the band could've done at this point and could only get better with a more solidified lineup at hand. Whatever the case, here's hoping that it doesn't take them another six years to release a follow-up!

Highlights:
"Hammer of the Gods," "The Revengeful," "Black Candy," "On A Wicked Night," and "Deth Red Moon"