Deicide - _Serpents of the Light_
(Roadrunner, 1997)
by: Paul Schwarz (8 out of 10)
I have been very divided in my opinion of Deicide since they produced _Legion_. At the time _L_ was undoubtedly their best album, and _SotL_, their fourth album, does nothing to change this fact. _Once Upon the Cross_ was a definite disappointment to fans of _Legion_'s hyperspeed and extreme technicality. _SotL_ will not really bring back any of the fans who abandoned Deicide then, but for those of us who, if sometimes tentatively, stuck with them, _SotL_ is our reward. _SotL_ retains the simpler guitar lines and prominence of vocals which _OUtC_ and the band's self-titled debut also displayed. The differences on _SotL_ come in the guitar sound, which has a buzzy, almost Swedish death metal feel to it, and the overall production, which is far less dense than on previous albums. _SotL_ has a thrashy, almost hardcore feel to it and is the band's most accessible album to date. Songs like "Slave To The Cross" and "Blame It On God" have very distinct, simple choruses and sections which I have at times caught myself humming along to. But don't let all this talk of catchiness fool you, though. This is Deicide -- the music is still brutal, and Glen Benton is still -very- angry. Deicide have stuck with the theory that simple is best, and although I wouldn't agree that this is true in their case, _SotL_ has shown me that simple is pretty damn good, and I think we can blame that on God.

(article published 1/1/1998)

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