Monday, 16 July 2012

DEICIDE - Serpents Of The Light (1997)

01  Serpents Of The Light
02  Bastard Of Christ
03  Blame It On God
04  This Is Hell We're In
05  I Am No One
06  Slave To The Cross
07  Creatures Of Habit
08  Believe The Lie
09  The Truth Above
10  Father Baker's

'Serpents Of The Light' is the fourth full-length album by the American death metal band Deicide. It was released on October 21st, 1997 by Roadrunner Records and produced by Scott Burns. It was around 1997 that Deicide began to grow very unhappy with their record label, so they began unabashedly rushing-out albums just to get out of their record contract. As such, when listening to Deicide's next full-length release on Roadrunner, 19997's 'Serpents of the Light', and the two following records (2000's 'Insineratehymn' and 2001's 'In Torment In Hell'), one can't help but get the feeling that the band was "coasting" and sounded perhaps, a little uninspired.

Despite the natural recycling of themes that Deicide does on every album, here it seems more tolerable because the themes they're reusing are genuinely good instead of filler. Vocal rhythms in particular guilty of this: see the chorus patterns for "Slave To The Cross" and "Blame It On God" for reference, being essentially identicle in pace and candor. However, such things are rendered unimportant by the pure fervor of the music here. The opening title track in particular is an example of everything going right for Deicide: Driving, tremolo picked riffs with a vibrant sense of melody, powerful, lung-searing vocals emitting clever, catchy lyrics, and Steve Asheim's brutal, speedy drumming holding it all tenuously together.

Each song is familiar yet each has it's own trademark, it's own calling card. The fact is, Deicide have something that most other bands don't have - memorability. They might not be the fastest band in the world, or the band with the most technical guitar solos, but I believe Deicide cracked it on this album, and the previous one. Would you be able to name every Kataklysm or Necrophagist song off by heart, straight from the intro? Doubt it. It seems most agree that “Serpents” was a crowning jewel amid a period that saw Glen and friends struggling. The sheer, undeniable catchiness of many of these tracks ("Bastard Of Christ and the title track in particular) is a testament to well-written hooks and well-executed vocal patterns.

This is Deicide - the music is still brutal and Glen Benton is still very, very angry. Deicide have stuck with the theory that simple is best, so if this isn't your bag and you don't quite agree then I guess you can blame it on god...

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