It has been nearly ten years since founding guitarists Eric and Brian Hoffman left the death metal legion known as Deicide. Since that time, mainstays Glen Benton and Steve Asheim have been pretty hit or miss with the quality of their output. There is no denying that 2006’s “The Stench of Redemption” was an important album to the band and the genre itself as it became a redemptive comeback for a band that was floundering around the scene at best before its release.
With 2013, comes Deicide’s latest full-length studio album, “In the Minds of Evil.” The first question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Deicide came up short again. 2011’s “To Hell With God” was well received and rightfully so. It was a decent release for the band. With the release of “In the Minds of Evil,” Benton’s crew seems to have upped the ante a little. No, this is not Deicide of old by any means, but the band has released something of quality here. The problem is that you hold certain bands to higher standards, which make it tougher for that band to please us with each new release.
Gone are the days of the wild Slayer-esque solos from the Hoffman brothers. In are the more melodic sections. The utter ferocity that the band once had has been replaced with more mid-tempo rhythms, but also with the introduction of some of Deicide’s better hooks that they have written in years. It just may end up being that “In the Minds of Evil” comes out as sounding like their best work since 2006, which would be saying a lot.
On the downside of things, there are a few paint by numbers death metal songs on here, which you would not expect from a band who is supposed to be leading the death metal charge.
With the nitpicking aside, Benton still has one of the best guttural voices in metal and Deicide does show that they still have some fuel left in the tank, so I will welcome anything that sounds as good as “In the Minds of Evil.”