Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Deicide : "Serpents of the Light " [1997]

Death Metal
USA
Earache Records
41.84 MB
Lineup:

Glen Benton - Bass/Vocals
Eric Hoffman - Guitar
Brian Hoffman - Guitar
Steve Asheim - Drums

All lyrics written by Glen Benton
All music written by Deicide

Produced by Deicide and Scott Burns.
Engineered & Mixed by Scott Burns.
Asistant Engineer: Mitchel Howell.
Recorded & Mixed at Morrisound Recording (Tampa, FL).
1.Serpents of the Light03:03
2.Bastard of Christ02:49
3.Blame It on God02:45
4.This Is Hell We're In02:51
5.I Am No One03:38
6.Slave to the Cross03:16
7.Creatures of Habit03:07
8.Believe the Lie02:51
9.The Truth Above02:46
10.Father Baker's03:36
Total playing time30:42

5 comments:

Ma†ías said...

Coming off the heels of 1995's underwhelming 'Once Upon The Cross', Deicide decided to enact (or more coincidentally arrive at) a change of pace. Much has been said about 'Serpents Of The Light''s sonic properties being reflective of the popularization of black metal at the time, and considering Deicide's undeniably commercial appeal, there's a good chance such an influence was a conscious decision based on the trends of the time. Luckily, despite the sellout implications of such a move, 'Serpents Of The Light' functions as what might be the pinnacle of Deicide's career in extreme metal.

What sets this so dramatically apart from 'Once Upon The Cross'? Let's take one of the most obvious issues of that release: the production. Slightly rawer and seemingly intentionally degraded (while still retaining enough fidelity to grasp the subtleties of each instrument), the sound here is anything but flat. The sound here is colorful and intensely hot and aggressive, unlike 'Once Upon The Cross' which was crippled by its lack of intensity. In the same regard, the performance on this album seems a great deal more passionate than that on the previous album, making the lyrics and instrumentation seem convincing instead of trite and silly. In one fell swoop, Deicide improved upon all the elements that made the previous LP so uneventful.

Songwriting, though in no way poor on the last LP, is greatly improved here. Despite the natural recycling of themes that Deicide does on every album, here it seems more tolerable because the themes they're reusing are genuinely good instead of filler. Vocal rhythms in particular guilty of this: see the chorus patterns for 'Slave To The Cross' and 'Blame It On God' for reference, being essentially identicle in pace and candor. However, such things are rendered unimportant by the pure fervor of the music here. The opening title track in particular is an example of everything going right for Deicide: Driving, tremolo picked riffs with a vibrant sense of melody, powerful, lung-searing vocals emitting clever, catchy lyrics, and Steve Asheim's brutal, speedy drumming holding it all tenuously together.

There's a reason that songs off 'Serpents Of The Light' make up such a large part of a Deicide live set; these are some of the best songs that the band has ever composed. At best classics ('Blame It On God', 'Serpents Of The Light', 'Slave to The Cross', 'Father Baker's') and at worst very good ('This Hell We're In', 'Creatures Of Habit'), there are no flaw-ridden tracks on this CD. It stands as being possibly the most consistently solid of any Deicide album that has ever been released, as it remains catchy and intelligent as well as brutal throughout. Of all the post-'Legion' Deicide albums, this is easily the one that you should pick up first.

'Serpents Of The Light' is easily one of the best the band has ever released. After one has acquired their 'essential' albums, this should be the next to snap up, as a pinnacle of metal, death metal, and engaging songwriting in extreme music.

Written by Noktorn on March 20th, 2007

Ma†ías said...

This is a classic, but also a spectacular masterpiece of an album. It contains a lot of Deicides well known, fabolous songs. The sound quality is pretty good and reminds me of their last work "Once upon the cross" (which also is a damn good record). The guitar riffs are as always catchy and groovy, but the technique is missing. The Hoffman brothers are known for their co-operation and on Serpents of the light they are not dissapointing at all.

There is nothing else to say about the drums than: Fantastic! The double bass drums which are played through almost all the songs, really give the songs the little, terrific touch to complete the songs. Steve Asheim also fills in a little more blastbeats than the former albums, and in my opinion that is a positive monument.

Then, finally over to the last member, but also the frontfigure in Deicide, bass-player, lyrical writer and vocalist, Glen Benton. As usual he does a wonderful job. Despite of the fact that he is kind of lazy when it comes to learn the songs, he is a really good bass-player and treats the pick like nobody else. What surprises me once again, is the fabolous vocals on this album! The growling (perhaps the best in the death metal scene) continues over and over again and his screams are better than ever. The vocals are not unexepected, directed against God, Jesus and the christians which in Deicides opinion all are scumbags. The lyrical theme is maybe not changed, but if there is someone who rules the anti-christian lyric empire, it is Glen Benton. The blasphemous words perfectly fit to the music and titles like Bastards of christ, This is hell we`re in and Believe the lie shows Glens hatred against christiannity. (he has maybe been married in a church, but the rumours about him being a christian are only lies).

The final conclusion of this album is that every real death metal fan should have the possibility to hear and enjoy this well made anti-christian phenomenon. My personal favourites are: Serpents of the light (the ultimate intro-track), Bastards of christ(die!), Blame it on God and Slave to the cross.

Written by ad on February 26th, 2005

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