Deicide – Bible Bashers (3CD Set)


The third in an unholy trinity finds Cherry Red reissuing the final three albums that Death Metal maestros Deicide recorded for Roadrunner Records. Originally released during a period of great turmoil, Bible Bashers features the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the Deicide discography. Housed alongside an informative booklet, these three albums find the band at their blasphemous best and while they might not have set the world afire like their early releases, they stand as a dark testament to the band’s visceral power.

CD1: Insineratehymn (2000)

The dawn of the new millennium found Deicide exploring “slower” tempos and more atmospheric grooves, but you’d never guess if your only exposure to Insineratehymn was the furnace blast of opening track ‘Bible Basher’. It’s a ferocious opener and one that embeds itself in the listener’s cranium like a hot piece of shrapnel and it is easy to hear why it remains a fan favourite to this very day. However, after this frenetic opener the album adopts a more measured approach and while those sonic blasts are still evident, they’re now juxtaposed with heavier sections and makes for an explosive mixture. Guitarists Brian and Eric Hoffman now play solos that are harmonious and follow the beat (as opposed to their usual drunken spider scrawl) and this gives the band an aesthetic that’s not unlike The End Complete-era Obituary. While a “slower” Deicide might be an anathema to some, this is essentially the same band, those technical flourishes are ever present, and no more so than on cuts such as ‘Apocalyptic Fear’. Lyrically too, Deicide explore new themes (‘Forever Hate You’ is actually about Glen Benton’s ex-wife) but don’t worry; Insineratehymn is still a one-way ticket to hell and closing track ‘Refusal Of Penance’ finds the band stoking up the flames for your arrival.

Although Insineratehymn caused a lot of consternation amongst the Deicide faithful, it was good to hear the band try something new. It would have been so easy for the band to tread old ground, yet this album tries a new approach and, on the whole, it works.

CD2: In Torment In Hell (2001)

Considered by many to be their “Marmite” album, nothing divides the Deicide fanbase like their 2001 album In Torment In Hell. At this stage in their career the tensions that fired early releases like Legion became an Achilles Heel and the band started to tear themselves apart. There had always been a turbulent relationship between growler Glen Benton and the Hoffman brothers and while they’d always tolerated each other for the greater good, by now even a working partnership seemed impossible. On In Torment In Hell you can hear the balance of power shifting and the sound contained within veers more towards the rhythm of Benton’s bass and Steve Asheim’s drums. Those erratic planchette-over-Ouija guitar solos that so illuminated their early releases are largely absent and are buried deep in the mix, making for an uneven listen. You feel the band are mainly going through the motions to produce an album that would terminate an unhappy contract with Roadrunner Records. Once Deicide were a genuinely scary band, but the yelps found on ‘Vengeance Will Be Mine’ are just plain embarrassing.

In Torment In Hell consistently scores low on aggregator websites and while it is not as bad as many would decry, we can’t forget what we know. If another band had unleashed this album there wouldn’t be such an uproar, but from a band who gave us Legion, In Torment In Hell falls a little short.

CD3: When Satan Lives (1998)

As anyone who has seen Florida’s finest live will attest, a Deicide live show is far from serene. It’s more a ceremonial affair than a regular gig with those present come to worship at their black magic alter. A good live album should capture the essence of a band (as do Unleashed In The East and Live After Death) and Deicide’s first live long player does exactly that. Reading like a greatest hits collection, When Satan Lives collates cuts from the group’s first four albums and from skull-crushing opener ‘When Satan Rules His World’ to cataclysmic closer ‘Sacrificial Suicide’ this record is all killer and no filler. Deicide’s early releases took technical death to a whole new level and while that was easy to attain in the studio with countless overdubs, a lesser band could be exposed under hot stage lights. Deicide pass the test with flying colours as ‘Lunatic Of God’s Creation’ is wound up tighter than a drum and ‘Once Upon The Cross’, featuring some fine interplay from the Hoffman brothers, is delivered with a hammer blow which far exceeds that found on the studio version. Clocking in at a cool 54 minutes, When Satan Lives pretty much mirrors the length of an actual Deicide show, and just like a sweaty Deicide gig, it’ll leave you feeling spent at its conclusion.

Bible Bashers wraps up Cherry Red’s comprehensive collection of Deicide’s Roadrunner years and while the band continue to terrorise the godly the world over, these releases remain the true sound of Deicide.

Track List:

CD1: Insineratehymn

  1. Bible Basher
  2. Forever Hate You
  3. Standing In The Flames
  4. Remnant Of A Hopeless Path
  5. The Gift That Keeps On Giving
  6. Halls Of Warship
  7. Suffer Again
  8. Worst Enemy
  9. Apocalyptic Fear
  10. Refusal Of Penance

CD2: In Torment In Hell

  1. In Torment In Hell
  2. Christ Don’t Care
  3. Vengeance Will Be Mine
  4. Imminent Doom
  5. Child Of God
  6. Let It Be Done
  7. Worry In The House Of Thieves
  8. Lurking Amongst Us

CD3: When Satan Lives

  1. When Satan Rules His World
  2. Blame It On God
  3. Bastard Of Christ
  4. They Are The Children Of The Underworld
  5. Serpents Of Christ
  6. Slave To The Cross
  7. Lunatic Of God’s Creation
  8. Oblivious To Evil
  9. Once Upon The Cross
  10. Believe The Lie
  11. Trick Or Betrayed
  12. Behind The Light Thou Shall Rise
  13. Deicide
  14. Father’s Baker
  15. Dead By Dawn
  16. Sacrificial Suicide