I can't, for the life of me, understand how a band that released stellar fare such as the self titled 'Deicide' debut and 'Legion', could disappear for almost a decade, only to return with this stupendously inept smorgasbord of hit or miss ideas so haphazardly fused together like Frankenstein's monster slapped together during a $3.000.00 crack binge. Granted, that "band" has now been reduced to a duo and two hire-ons, but nonetheless, from what I understand, Eric and Brian Hoffmann did the majority of the riff writing on the first two Deicide albums. I'll never truly understand why the drummer of that band would end up writing the majority of the band's remaining catalog, but oh well. Here we are.
First off, the drumming on this album is laughable at best. How and why Lobster Arms and Dough Boy ended up adding this guy to the ranks is beyond me. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he as well as the other guy look like younger versions of the Hoffmann's themselves. I mean, seriously, everyone in this band looks related. Maybe it's a "redneck thing, if ya get what I mean.
The guitar riffs are truly a mixed bag here. While some riffs are actually pretty damn good, and even remind me of Deicide's older work at times, which almost kind of surprises me as I figured the "boys" have long lost touch with the ability to write music of that magnitude, the problem is that a goodly sum of the riffs found on this album just sound straight up fucking retarded. Add to that the fact that that there are whole sections on here that don't even make sense in terms of succession and arrangement. It's as if the band were drunk in the studio when they recorded this and at times I've wondered if this is truly the same two guys that recorded those early classics from Deicide. Maybe the answer to the riddle of why their drummer took over the songwriting reigns lies herein.
The only musician on here that exerts a consistent performance, and a rather competent one at that, is bassist/vocalist Jesse Jolly. While he's not quite on the same level as Glen Benton on the first Deicide album, he certainly sounds a million times better than Benton does these days. Anyone who claims otherwise is a candidate for a swift and vicious brick slap to the face. Don't expect the over dub frenzy that Glen Benton pretty much pioneered in those early years and, thankfully, the Christian bashing that has been tiredly beaten into the Earth by Deicide, is also a thing of the past.
|Band of Brothers|
This album isn't terrible by any means, but it certainly doesn't come across as an album recorded by seasoned veterans of the genre, either. I guess it's always been supremely odd to me that the songwriting from all within the Deicide camp, past and present members alike, has been on a long and slow downward spiral since their explosive introduction into the hearts and minds of metal heads alike. If "the boys" would tighten things up a bit and perhaps leave some of the rather, limp wristed attempts at being a "technical" death metal band behind, they just might find themselves re-emerging as a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, as it is, this is not the album that's going to bring them to that level, and while ultimately I find this to be more enjoyable than the last few Deicide albums, the Hoffmanns have yet to emerge from the shadows of Benton and his band of merry Men. Having said that... I'm still rooting for 'Lobster Arms' and 'Dough Boy' to deliver the mighty smackdown that will shut Benton up as well as down, once and for all.