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Review: Deicide - Once Upon the Cross
Once Upon the Cross

Label: Roadrunner Records
Year released: 1995
Duration: 28:12
Tracks: 9
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: April 21, 2009
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
Readers Rating
Once Upon the Cross

Rated 3.75/5 (75%) (44 Votes)

This album came three years after Deicide's sophomore effort. As people expected, Once Upon The Cross is a continuation, and in this case an improvement of their sound. Now I like Legion, but I've never been a diehard fan of that record. In fact, I think that album is very overrated; however that is not what this review is about.

Once Upon the Cross sums up all the elements that made this band great: fast, intense and evil songs. However what makes this one stand out over their earlier albums in my opinion is the amount of catchiness (for a Death Metal album) in it. That combined with a high level of heaviness and brutality gives us some of their best material. Classics like: "Children of the Underworld", "When Satan Rules his World" and "Kill the Christian" as well as the title track can't be denied; all of those songs have a chorus or a guitar riff that will stick in your head.

The performances here are common of the Hoffman-era Deicide: solid but unspectacular. Like any Deicide record, Once Upon the Cross features a fast and furious guitar attack by the Hoffman brothers, tight drumming by Steve Asheim, the non-existent bass and the double track vocals of Glenn Benton. Same goes for the lyrics: Satanic to the tenth degree - honestly did anyone expect anything else?

There are some negative points in this album though: most of the songs sound alike. This is something the fans got accustomed to, but when you put out the quality that the band put on here I am not going to complain much. The album is barely under half an hour and there is some filler like "To Be Dead" and the closer "Confessional Rape". Clearly this is not the band's greatest album by any means, but for the reasons listed above I think that this is an improvement over their previous work. Still, this is a nice piece of Satanic Death Metal that any fan of the genre should have.

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