The Stench of Redemption

I don’t think I need to rehash the history of Deicide here, but the short version is pretty much; great- (Deicide, Legion), suck -(Once Upon the Cross, Serpents of the Light, Insineratehymn, In Torment in Hell) and back to form -(Scars of the Crucifix). Then you have this years very public and very nasty split between Benton and the Hoffman brothers, which turns out to have been the best thing to happen to Deicide since the Crucifixtion as The Stench of Redemption fully fleshes out the return to form hinted at for Scars of the Crucifix and is indeed the best Deicide album in a very long time.

The addition of lead guitarist Ralph Santolla (who apparently wrote all of the leads that surfaced on Scars) brings his experience from Death and Iced Earth and now fully develops the melodic solos that arose on that album, and former Cannibal Corpse axeman Jack Owen brings back a sense of brutal urgency and complexity the band has lacked for over a decade.

Honestly, Santolla makes this album as basically, the whole album follows suite from the title track from Scars. Each song has some sort of sweeping, arpeggio filled solo that somehow complements Benton’s demonic screams, Asheim’s deadly precise drumming and Owens razor sharp riffing. The thing is, the non solo moments sound like good old Deicide (“Homage for Satan”, “Not of this Earth”, “Walk With the Devil In Dreams” ), more than any album in their discography, but also has the band sounding fresh and reinvigorated with few new, restrained twists (“Desecration”, “The Lord’s Sedition”).

However, the standout tracks end up being the ones with Deicide’s new found melody mixing it up with Satanic savagery, as “The Stench of Redemption”, “Crucified for the Innocents” (my personal favorite with arguably the best chorus riff I’ve heard all year), “Death to Jesus”, “Never to be Seen Again”, “The Lord’s Sedition” all deliver feral blasts of typically ant- Christian sentiment, just laced with some deft melody and solo work.

Throw in that the band got rid of Neil Kernon and his expensive and overly clean production, choosing to produce the album themselves, and The Stench of Redemption easily completes Deicide’s return to glory and back into the elite of death metal, where they deservedly belong.

What’s that smell? Redemption indeed

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
August 18th, 2006


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