Sound — 5
After hearing The Stench of Redemption I didn't know what to expect from this album. It was promised to be some kind of hybrid between Legion and TSOR. I was a bit sceptical to this since albums being compared to old classics tend to get a bit overhyped. But I decided to be open minded and give it a fair chance. Well, to the music: the album starts with an intro that is about as un-Deicide as possible, which had me worried for a while. The rest of the songs are more interesting. They are more agressive than any of the songs on TSOR. Though I get the feeling that something's missing when listening through the album. Something about the songwriting sounds a bit uninspired, almost like it's going on routine. But I guess you can't expect them to have the same agression and energy as they did almost 20 years ago. The guitarsound is somewhere around the average line. One thing that always amazed me was how the Hoffman brothers playing always sounded really "tight". There are some really cool riffs here, but Jack Owen and Ralph Santolla simply can't achieve the "tightness" of the Hoffman brothers. If this is due to production or some other reason is left untold. I can add that the melodic solos of TSOR are almost absent, possibly due to Ralph Santolla having less input. So for those who expect that, I suggest to look elsewhere. The drumming is one of the highlights of this album. I dare to say that this is probably Asheim's best performance yet. Triggered or not his drumming sounds great, I also like the production on them more than most of their recent albums. Powerful and tight is words that comes to mind.
Lyrics — 5
The vocals are nowhere his best, I guess age and years on the road has taken it's toll. Though they aren't horrible and definitely showing improvement since TSOR, his voice sounds a bit more brutal. Another good thing is that they didn't go crazy with the multilayering of highs and lows like the did last time. As far as the lyrics go, I wouldn't call this album a masterpiece. Though I never tend to bother about the lyrical content when it comes to death metal anyway. Let's just say that there are lyrics in death metal far more poorly written then those of Benton.
Overall Impression — 6
This album is, as mentioned before, more brutal then TSOR, and it's kind of obvious that they've taken the masterpiece Legion as a source of inspiration. It is a step in the right direction, but not the huge leap I expected. About half of the songs on the album is average, the other half is decent to good. No outstanding songs that you will remember though. This album proves that Deicide is still capable of making aggressive death metal. Though I can't quite get rid of the feeling that this is a filler album. I guess the next album they release will tell if they still are in the game. So in conclusion: they have done better in the past, but they have also done worse. Some will like it, others will hate it. To me, it's decent.