Amon: Feasting the Beast(Roadrunner - 1993)
The demo released on CD containing eight out of the ten tracks from the self-titled debut. There isn't anything surprising or new here: it's merely the flat, boring Deicide album with slightly lower sound quality and somewhat thrashier sounding guitars. The last 4 tracks are from an older demo I think and feature sludgy over-processed growling vocals. I don't see the point.
Deicide(Roadrunner - 1990)
Perhaps groundbreaking in its time due to the level of unrelenting brutality and technical precision, but death metal just doesn't get more standard than this. If you could tell a computer to put out some death metal, this may be the outcome. There is nothing wrong with the music, except that it's boring. The guitars and drums are played with utmost precision and good technique (guitar technique #2); the riffs are good but extremely conventional (randomize deathmetal_riff); the riff patterns change often and flow one into another yet all somehow sound more or less the same. What this album desperately needs is more dynamics. Then it would still be of a garden variety but at least it might be more involving. Even the guitar solos are chaotic and speedy mechanical pieces that attach themselves to the songs and do nothing (guitar_solo & randomize notes). The death vocals (vocal death_growl) are of the yelling growl kind and are sometimes layered with another effect-ridden, spewing, daemon growl. A flat, dull album.
Legion(Roadrunner - 1992)
With this release, Deicide improved greatly in the technical department and slightly with the dynamics, and come off sounding more brutal than before. Unfortunately, this increased complexity only made them less accessible without adding any involvement. The tracks change rapidly with inaccessible song structures and one disconnected riff pattern after another. But again, the instruments are handled precisely and with brutal speed. The production improved and the vocals deepened to a low, barking growl. Too chaotic, and severely lacking in composition, but considered by many to be their best.
Once Upon the Cross(Roadrunner - 1995)
Here they dropped the boring complexity and reverted back to the catchiness of the first album. But this time the songs actually flow with fluid dynamics and actually go places. Production has improved again to a perfect roaring, aggressive sound and the vocals have grown deeper and harsher. Deicide still suffers from the 'standard death metal' disease but at least this time there is something to follow. The bass is barely audible, the drumming is exact and dynamic, and the riffing is precise as ever. Some tracks are better than others but overall, this is a less brutal and speedy album than their first two. Still nothing worth praising, but a moderately acceptable buy for a death metal fan.
Serpents of the Light(Roadrunner - 1997)
In the dictionary, under 'Death Metal', it should say 'see Deicide'. This band just doesn't stray an inch from obvious and standard death metal. On this release, they improved on the sound from the previous one and added more catchy riffs and fluid compositions as well as speeding up again slightly. I like the fact that Deicide's music here has a musical thread and structure I can follow, as opposed to untalented bands such as Cannibal Corpse that just stick a bunch of riffs together. The production this time has a slightly less deeper sound surprisingly, but is still crystal clear. Glen bellows out his vocals with rage and power and the second layer of 'daemon-growls' are still present although very rarely used now. The guitar solos have improved here, slowing down and actually contributing something other than chaos to the music. If you like standard brutal death this is a damn good album; if you're looking for something new - look elsewhere. Their best so far in my opinion.
When Satan Lives(Roadrunner - 1998)
A high quality live album. The sound is crisp and roaring and nothing but the bass is drowned out. All the members are in good form and deliver an energetic, clockwork performance, and Glen uses a slightly lower growl, but for the most part this sounds just like the studio albums. The exception of course is when they perform older songs, which ironically enough, benefit greatly from the quality production here. The emphasis is on reproducing the music and there are no crowd rousers and hardly any talking from Glen except to introduce a song or two. But that's where this album is flawed since usually I expect more musical changes and at the very least, a rawer, more energetic feel to the music, whereas this album comes off as a remastered best-of compilation with a few seconds of crowd noise in between tracks. Clocking at 55 minutes, this is almost double the length of a typical Deicide album. The selection of tracks are evenly divided between the debut and the last two, and interestingly, only one track from Legion.
Insineratehymn(Roadrunner - 2000)
Change: The injection of life that is dreaded by most fans and that more often than not spells disaster for bands despite its necessity. Some bands like Opeth are so musically talented that they simply can't stand still and everything new they use in their music is under control and masterful. Other talents are one dimensional and single-sided, and when they try to use other elements in their art, it's painfully obvious that they're either uncomfortable with it or they're merely copying it from someone else. Insineratehymn is standard Deicide death metal with a heavy new infusion of mismatched blood that the music is rejecting. For example, I hear Deicide unsuccessfully attempting some Slayer on Forever Hate You, Death on Refusal of Penance and Standing in the Flames, touches of Cannibal Corpse in places, the pattern I think I associate with Cryptopsy of suddenly playing a brutal riff much slower and thicker, and a very familiar riff that I havent placed yet in Bible Basher. Mixed in many songs are surprisingly slower thrashy sections or melodic guitar solos. This isn't good unless Deicide radically change their sound because boring, fast Deicide minus the fast leaves only the boring. And Hoffman proves that when it comes to non-chaotic guitar solos, he is no Schuldiner or Azagthoth and plays with a mechanical boredom. Even with the experiments on this album, it's all disjointed, unoriginal, or uninspired with only a few good sections scattered on the album (Worst Enemy is a great track for example). I get a strong feeling that Deicide gave us their best already and it's all over for them.
In Torment, in Hell(Roadrunner - 2001)
That was fast. What's the rush? Why not sit down and work hard on saving your musical career? Taking the speed with which this album was released into account, I'm not surprised at the uninspired feel of the music. This is another one of those albums that you feel you've heard a dozen times before and usually done much better to boot. I think Deicide were trying to regain some of their extreme fans though. The music, although not to be compared to the early Deicide material, is back to a slightly more brutal sound with hardly any of that catchy 'sing-along' quality present in recent albums. This is mostly more Cannibal Corpse or Slayer riffing style than Deicide though and there are still many slower sections. The melodic guitar solos have gone away as well and it's back to winding, howling chaos. Glen growls low in monotone as usual and is back to using some of his trademark layered demonic yells. The second biggest problem though is that even when they do manage to come up with a good, albeit unoriginal riff or arrangement, they ruin it often by suddenly jumping to something else without flow or buildup. This reminds me of old Cannibal Corpse that used lots of brutal riffs, but bored me to death with their complete lack of compositional abilities. And top it all off, this album is as long as all their rest: 30 minutes. Not recommended.