Deicide-In the minds of evil

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Since Deicide released arguably their best album since the mid 90s, “The stench of redemption”, the band have been more or less in a stagnating state of plodding death metal and as a result, many long-time fans have chosen to “move on”, as it were.. In the band’s favour however, they did make a half-hearted attempt at regaining what made them such a dominant force in the first place with “To hell with God” after the frankly lackluster “Till death do us part”, and so it’s up to Deicide’s latest album, “In the minds of evil” to continue this return to former glories.

“In the minds of evil” however, does little to change anyone’s minds of the band. Yes, there is a fair amount of solid instrumentation on display, more so in the album’s first half than the second, yet one can’t help but think if the band were even trying here. They don’t need to try, in all fairness. The band have arguably two of the most proficient guitarists of death metal in Jack Owen and Kevin Quirion, making the likes of the title track and ‘Between the flesh and the void’ all the more consistent as they go on, and the eccentric drum work within the heart and soul of ‘Misery of one’ is very well executed.

Yet it’s a lot of things that stop “In the minds of evil” from becoming the truly great work the band wanted it to be originally. Benton’s vocals aren’t exactly a highpoint of the band’s core sound, and even though they more or less do the job of perpetrating the extremity of every song, there is little variety to be found and by the end, you’re wondering whether the vocalist himself has more than one vocal range. Even the bass work is lacking often. It is audible enough to be called decent, but with such excellent guitar and drum work it seems too much to be pushed into the background of the recording and thus deemed unimportant to the casual listener.

Another thing to note here is the fact that more or less every song is a carbon copy of each other. Yes, that has worked for Deicide in the past, but the fact that by the time ‘Even the gods can bleed’ come onto the stereo musicianship sounds tiresome and weary proves the band are simply going through the motions. Whilst the first half has instant classics which work in the band’s favour and could even hold a significant role in creating the perfect set list, the second half merely comes across as a jumbled collection of boring B-sides, as if the band had fished out recycled riffs and plodding drum rhythms. It’s not exactly terrible, but neither is it good enough to match the intensity of the band’s better albums.

So here we have yet another Deicide album which often leaves the listener wanting so much more. The first half of the album is essentially their best work, leaving the second half to rot in hell (no pun intended) simply because it sounds like every instrument’s performance is decaying and growing weary. Whether you are a big fan of the band or not, this album won’t be changing minds any time soon.

2.7/5

1. In the minds of evil

2. Thou begone

3. Godkill

4. Beyond salvation

5. Misery of one

6. Between the flesh and the void

7. Even the gods can bleed

8. Trample the cross

9. Fallen to silence

10. Kill the light of Christ

11. End the wrath of God

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDeicide/info

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tohellwithgod

New Entombed album

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Having recently signed to Nuclear Blast, Entombed will be releasing their new album “Back to the front” on October 28th. In regards to the new album, frontman LG Petrov said “After almost 7 years of studio absence we are back with a new album called Back To The Front ready to blow metalheads away around this world! Feels great to announce this deal with Century Media ! Can’t wait to let you all be a part of it!”

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEntombed?fref=ts

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/artist/entombed

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheEntombed

Iwrestledabearonce – Late for nothing

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Whilst they haven’t exactly been the easiest of bands to pigeonhole into one particular genre, there’s no doubt that Iwrestledabearonce have had quite a bit of success in the last few years. Touring with the likes of TDEP and August burns red have solidified the band’s reputation as the musical equivalent of a self-harming schizophrenic, but there’s really one big problem that has marred their future from becoming ever brighter. As with other bands who do the exact same thing, Iwrestledabearonce have tried, tested and failed when experimenting with every genre under the sun and it seems that none but the most devoted fans of the band are actually taking them seriously. Even when guitarist Steven Bradley “admitted” that the band’s second album would be “90% black metal” (the record being anything but), nobody really took any notice until the band’s appearance at the Warped tour last year.

However, a lot has changed for the band recently, and this is strongly evident on the band’s latest album, “Late for nothing”. Given that singer Krysta Cameron was announced to be pregnant at Warped tour last year, it was clear that a replacement needed to be found and none other than a rather unknown Courtney LaPlante stepped in to take up the official duties, herself coincidentally being a “good friend” of Cameron. LaPlante’s vocal style, whilst not that different to Cameron’s on the band’s previous releases, does seem to pack quite a punch when screaming through a multitude of frantic sounds. The harshness of her vocals do play quite a vital part in songs such as ‘Thunder chunky’, ‘Letters to Stallone’ and ‘I’d buy that for a dollar’, yet when harmonizing with vocals of a cleaner, more audible nature, the quality of the songs are lowered a bit. It’s not that her harsh vocals are considerably stronger in comparison, it’s just that when singing cleanly, LaPlante often sounds like she’s getting bored of herself too quickly. Take ‘Firebees’ for example, a song that consists of some rather average metalcore and a far too polished production. LaPlante, evidently having a nice vocal range to suit whichever mood is produced by the instrumentation, does try hard to convey emotions with her voice, but it seems all too out of tune to be considered harmonic. A few songs-most notably the ballad-like intensity of ‘Mind the gap’ and short but sweet ‘Snake charmer’-do benefit from LaPlante’s sometimes luscious voice, but swiftly proves to be far too weak to make for comfortable listening.

The one thing about “Late for nothing” that will make sceptics turn their heads is perhaps the simplistic song structures, which this time round have more of a sense of direction than ever before. Yes, a few of the songs do appear to bear the same problems of the band’s past (‘Carnage asada’ features an instrumental contribution from none other than Steve Vai, but the song goes absolutely nowhere and results in an unhealthy musical mess), but one listen to the melodic introductions of opener ‘Thunder chunky’ and a more experimental ‘Firebees’ and you’ll notice the band have matured more in recent times. Perhaps the most prominent instrument of the album is the guitars, which chug along furiously on songs such as ‘That’s a horse of a different color’ but then take on more experimental sounds for better results on ‘Snake charmer’ and ‘Inside job’, concluding in a much better and more beautiful culmination of manic rhythms and frantic atmospheres. The drum and bass work isn’t particularly anything special, given that most of the focus seems to be on the guitars, but the electronica influences floating around in the background of ‘Boat paddle’ and ‘Firebees’ do seem to benefit from a much better sense of experimentation on the band’s part.

Whilst Iwrestledabearonce’s latest album is far from being perfect, the changes in structure and sound do seem to prove quite advantageous. “Late for nothing” could do without songs as useless as ‘Carnage asada’ and ‘I’d buy that for a dollar’, but for the most part what the band have achieved here is a greater sense of direction and a much more serious take on musical experimentation. Perhaps you’ll still be thinking of them sceptically as a band that just can’t settle on one particular genre, but on this evidence, it appears that Iwrestledabearonce still have a few surprises left in them.

3.2/5

Released: August 6th, 2013.

1. Thunder chunky

2. Letters to Stallone

3. Snake charmer

4. Boat paddle

5. Firebees

6. Mind the gap

7. Carnage Asada

8. The map

9. That’s a horse of a different color

10. I’d buy that for a dollar

11. Inside job

12. It don’t make me no nevermind

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iwrestledabearonce?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iwabo

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/artist/iwrestledabearonce