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Review: Deicide - Scars Of The Crucifix
Scars Of The Crucifix

Label: Earache Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 29:32
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 9, 2004
Reviewed by: Chaossphere
Readers Rating
Scars Of The Crucifix

Rated 4.1/5 (81.94%) (31 Votes)

I'll start this review by stating the blatantly obvious: Deicide's last two albums sucked goat balls. Therefore I was quite surprised to discover that their newest release is not only a stunning return to form, but easily their best album since 1995's crushing Once Upon The Cross, not to mention the most technical since the groundbreaking 1992 classic Legion. It seems that finally being away from their long-despised former label Roadrunner (aka Trendrunner) and onto the much more respectable Earache label has given Deicide a new lease of anger and creativity. Far from being another by-the-numbers snoozefest, Scars Of The Crucifix sees Deicide regain their former status as a punishing death metal killing machine, while throwing some new tricks into the bargain.

The opening title track starts out with a deceptively slow chugging riff, before kicking into gear during the chorus, replete with a searing tremolo which flows into some shredding arpeggiated lead guitar work, while "Mad At God" (dumb title, great song) and "Conquered By Sodom" are even more vicious. The drumming is once again a dizzying blastbeat holocaust, with plenty of tempo changes and excellent fills keeping things interesting. The main improvement here, though, is both in the solos - which are far more interesting and varied, as opposed to the blizzard of chromatic chaos that used to pass for lead breaks in most Deicide songs - and the vocals, which are once again a double-tracked demonic nightmare of hateful bellowing and shrieking. Glen Benton actually sounds seriously pissed off this time, instead of just belching disinterestedly. Later highlights include the blistering "When Heaven Burns" (easily the best song Deicide has written since "Behind The Light Thou Shalt Rise"), and the closing epic "The Pentecostal", which ends with a bizarre backward piano melody (yes, a piano on a Deicide album), which suddenly reverts to normal before looping backwards in the final minute. A strange end to a very vicious album, but it works incredibly well.

Overall, if you were disappointed with Deicide's last couple of efforts, this is an album you can buy blindly with no fear of disappointment. Obviously if you've never liked them, this won't change your mind, but longtime fans who've been hoping for a return to form will be smashing crosses and burning bibles in joy when they hear Scars Of The Crucifix. I certainly was... well, I would have been if I'd had either of those things available...

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