Friday, July 26, 2013

Deicide - Once Upon the Cross (1995)

I'm going to go ahead and state that I've always liked this album better than 'Legion'. For me, 'Legion' had too many "happy" sounding thrash moments and not enough of the evil riffing found on the band's debut. Also, the production was pretty shot. Everything sounded to garbled and clunky.

Now, to be fair, when I first heard this album, I had pretty much written it off. I figured that Deicide was all but finished. Where the first two albums showcased a dumptruck load of energy and a knack for speed and riff intricacies, 'OUTC' initially came across and overweight and tired. Some of the riffs sounded laughably simplistic to me. Then, after about a solid week of listening, on and off, the album started to rub off on me. I began to realize that this was a far more barbaric album then 'Legion' was and with the exception of perhaps the final two tracks, there really aren't any bad songs on here. Even the last two are "decent", but you can tell that Glen & co copped out by shoving the two weakest tracks at the end of the album, resulting in a rather tame exit strategy. It's actually kinda funny that 'To be Dead' and 'Confessional Rape' are tucked in at the end of the album, as the band's next release, 'Serpents of the Light' comes across as a complete capitalization of the two tracks.

Benton sounds particularly hateful on this album, though the high pitched shrieking demon vocals that had accompanied his lower rumbles are noticeably trimmed down this time around. I figure he wanted to make a statement being that he did not need to rely on constant over-dubs to get his point across. Either or, it works for me, because when that mother proclaims 'They are the children of the underworld', you can feel the fucking ground shake and mountains crack wide open as a result!


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