Finding the words to describe Deicide’s new album "Overtures of Blasphemy" is incredibly hard, not because it's magnificently spellbinding or because of its atrocious, it’s just so bland and vanilla; it’s hard to be emotive about the color beige and equally hard to be emotive about this release.
I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and say I’m a bit out of the loop when it comes to death metal, it seems every time I poke my head around the door to see what’s going on everything’s the way I left it and will remain that way until I have another peek in a year or two. Occasionally there are bands that can’t help but grab my attention like Portal, Dead Congregation and Ulcerate (to name a few) but by and large one of the biggest challenges facing death metal is consistency and lack of progression.
Maybe I’m not paying close enough attention to the scene but so much of what I hear throughout most modern death metal is the same cookie-cutter approach, it’s all become a bit passé. I struggle to believe there is conviction and unwavering intent in this release especially when I compare it to their stellar self-titled debut. It’s been a long road since then and much has happened to Deicide and the overall tone of death metal since that time but I can’t believe it’s all for the better. The songs are mediocre, there’s no real riffs or sections that embody any darkness or malevolence that Deicide have done so well in the past. Paint by numbers is the overarching theme here.
There’s nothing really poor about the album, for those that love death metal I’m sure there’s enough here for it to be a somewhat satisfying listen. It just doesn’t go anywhere, it’s pop music for the death metal fan, it hits all the right notes but just lacks substance.
One of the biggest criticisms I have of most modern death metal is its cookie-cutter approach to production, everything sounds the same. I’m so very tired of the homogenised tonality presented by bands, the same highly polished drums, quad-tracked guitars and guttural vocals, there’s no ambience or atmosphere, it doesn’t have to sound like a garage recording but more bands should at least try different approaches when recording to carve a niche for themselves in an already saturated genre, even more so when the band has as much of a legacy as Deicide, it’s easy for established bands to rest on their laurels when really these are the bands that should be proving their legacy by continuing to innovate.
It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s an overwhelming 'meh', surely it’ll satisfy some fans of death metal who are happy to listen to variations on the same album over and over again… just not me.
Reviewed by Dan Thaumitan