The legendary debut from American death metal Deicide still stands today as one of the genre's most defining and seminal releases. Containing a level of brutality that few death metal albums had previously accomplished, as well as some of the most vehemently anti-Christian words ever penned, this 1990 classic is one of the crowning achievements in early death metal. A brutal, sinister, and blasphemous journey indeed, Deicide is also a surprisingly memorable release. All of the songs here are, in spite of being insanely brutal and dense, instantly recognizable - throughout this rather short album you'll find some of the most memorable and powerful riffs in all of death metal. While it can be a bit too one-dimensional at times, Deicide is a classic and (for my money) one of the best American old school death metal albums.
For anyone with any knowledge of the raw, blasphemous, and semi-technical style of American old school death metal, it's immediately clear that Deicide is the absolute epitome of this sound. On this album you've got the fat guitar riffs, fast-paced rhythm section, and rather technical compositions, as well as some of the most evil, anti-Christian, and Satanic lyrics you'll ever read. Glen Benton's tepid lyrical formula got old on a few later Deicide albums, but here his hatred and anger shines through in a way that can only be described as pure brilliance. His unique and insanely gifted vocal techniques which often combine deep guttural growls with high-pitched shrieks sound like a demon straight from hell - I can't think of a more fitting vocal style for lyrics like this. Despite this being only their debut, the other musicians are also exceptionally tight and precise; these guys were gifted musicians and songwriters right from the get-go. Right from the opening lick in “Lunatic of God's Creation” to the cryptic ending of “Crucifixation”, the listener is blown away by highly memorable and insanely brutal death metal madness. Certainly not a journey worth taking for the faint of heart (or, much less so, the religious fellow), Deicide is an angry and irresistible listen if you're in the mood for such an album. Factor in the beefy production from none other than Scott Burns and it looks like we've got a classic on our hands.
Deicide is one of the most important extreme metal releases of 1990, but my praise for the album doesn't stop there. In addition to being an essential classic based on historical merit, this is a damn good record from start to finish, filled to the brim with memorable riffs, passionately pissed off vocals, and some of the most mosh-inducing sections in all of metal. I don't love all of Deicide's later outings, but this debut is a fresh, original, and astonishing sentiment of old school death metal. 4 stars (or pentagrams) are well-deserved for this highly recommendable classic.