Thursday 20 June 2024

ALBUM REVIEW: Deicide, "Banished By Sin"

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/04/2024
Label: Reigning Phoenix Music

“Banished By Sin” CD//DD//LP track listing:
1. From Unknown Heights You Shall Fall
2. Doomed To Die
3. Sever The Tongue
4. Faithless
5. Bury The Cross…With Your Christ
6. Woke From God
7. Ritual Defied
8. Failures Of Your Dying Lord
9. Banished By Sin
10. A Trinity Of None
11. I Am I…A Curse Of Death
12. The Light Defeated
The Review:

Deicide are, undeniably, one of the classic bands of the death metal genre. Even though their lyrical themes don’t really concern death, usually, and are instead often blasphemous tracts against him upstairs and his son.
Having made an absolute classic debut, followed it with three further classics in a row and then… seen out their Roadrunner Records contract (!), the band were rejuvenated briefly twenty years ago with “Scars of the Crucifix”, prior to the departure of the hulking Hoffman brothers. The band has then seen different line ups come and go, some great records (“Stench of Redemption”) some passable ones (“To Hell With God”, “Til Death Do Us Part”) and on a general level, has kept going. We are nearly 35 years into recorded output at this point. I remember Motorhead’s 25th anniversary and that, at the time, was almost unthinkable.
Does the world need another Deicide album? Does Glen Benton have anything left to say? Does Steve Asheim still want to write full length death metal albums in between going to the shooting range, smoking weed and lifting weights?!
Well, regardless of the answers to those questions, we have another Deicide album. The AI infused artwork may have caused some controversy, but it looks fine to me (I know, I know, I said that about the Pestilence art as well, so… art is in the eye of the beholder, or something). Firstly, the sound: it’s polished, machined, clear, slick… nothing like the debut. Not as individualistic as “Once Upon The Cross”. It sounds thoroughly modern- your views will be your own in that regard.
From “Unknown Heights You Shall Fall” sounds like Deicide circa 2024- everything professional, slick and in the right place. Benton still does the low and high double tracking, the instrumentation chugs and churns along. “Doomed To Die” offers more of the same, slick pacing and hooks. Across the forty minutes here, it really is business as usual. At 12 tracks, it’s two tracks too long, but that’s churlish talk.
My main issue with Banished By Sin” is that it is perhaps a little too safe, a little too familiar. Deicide have nothing new to say- they haven’t since 1997- but they have occasionally found better ways to say them. Some of their albums are better than others, some are more fiery, some less committed to the cause and so on. I found myself enjoying the atmospheric riffage intro of “Faithless” a lot more than the more run of the mill songs contained here, that’s for sure.
Yes, “Bury The Cross With Your Christ” is absolutely what you want from the band, while “Woke From God” offers up an excellent song title and excellent lead work- but you may have heard this all before.
The title track is great; classic rolling feel, lovely lead work, headbanging opportunities aplenty!
I suppose the album could be summed up by saying that if you have never heard Deicide but like death metal (?!) then you will like this. If you are a fully paid up Deicide fan, you’ll like this. If you are a fan of a few albums here and there- perhaps of the old school variety, you may be a little less sure. I’m in the latter camp, and to be clear there is absolutely nothing wrong with this record: all parts are present and correct.  They may never top “O.U.T.C.” in my eyes, but they are still ferocious and kicking against the Christians with bile. The fact that this album didn’t fully do it for me is my problem. Deicide, it’s not you- it’s me!

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