Vital Remains - Dechristianize review
01. Let The Killing Begin
04. Devoured Elysium
05. Savior To None... Failure For All...
06. Unleashed Hell
07. Rush Of Deliverance
08. At War With God
09. Entwined By Vengeance
Disc II [Live At Metalmania Festival, 2007] [2012 reissue bonus]
01. Intro I - Where Is Your God Now
02. Icons Of Evil
04. Born To Rape The World
05. Hammer Down The Nails
06. Intro Ii - Let The Killing Begin
09. Devoured Elysium
Dechristianize was my favourite album of 2003, and although I usually favour old-school Death Metal, it's probably one of my 'top 10' albums of the genre. After the building tension of the intro track (a movie sample alongside Orff's 'O Fortuna'), the first proper song kicks in - the title track - and suddenly we're faced with energetic, vicious Death Metal, driven by breathtakingly fast snare pummeling.
Glen Benton, Deicide's infamous frontman, performs all the vocals on this album. His characteristic deep growls are unrelenting in their rhythmically precise delivery, and occasionally he also uses his high-pitched screamed style. The lyrics are deliciously Satanic, and although they're not without some rather cheesy moments, they're generally dark enough to suit Benton's equally demonic roar.
At times, the crushing sonic assault gives way to some melodic, majestic lead guitar melodies that manage to be infinitely more soul-stirring than the majority of bands that are labelled (often inaccurately) 'melodic Death Metal' these days. The surprisingly tasteful use of melody will certainly turn a few heads, and I'm sure that even people who usually hate Death Metal would be impressed by the breathtaking break at around the 3:52 mark of 'Entwined by Vengeance' and the 2:10 mark of 'Rush of Deliverance'. This kind of contrast is used in each track on offer here, and it certainly helps to make Dechristianize such a memorable album. Still, make no mistake - this album is still extreme, brutal, and certainly 'proper' Death Metal.
The songs are mostly rather long ('Entwined by Vengeance' is the lengthiest at just over 10 minutes), but to the band's credit, the listener is never bored - perhaps because there's always the promise of an even better section coming up at any moment. It's refreshing to hear music that manages to be epic (in terms of length and also the overall feel of the music) yet also confidently catchy - without seeming contrived. Overall, I think this album is an essential listen for anyone into extreme Metal.
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