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Sunday Old School: Deicide

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Band Photo: Deicide (?)

With Christmas two days away, it’s more than likely that by now, we’ve all seen the "Keep Christ in Christmas" stickers/posters/statuses on Facebook, but most non-believers are well aware of Christmas being a Christian festival and don’t want to remove Jesus from this time of the year. However, if there’s one band that seems intent on removing Jesus from everything, it’s one of Florida’s many legendary death metal bands, Deicide. Deicide were formed in the city of Tampa in July 1987, initially under the name Amon, by vocalist/bassist, Glen Benton and guitarist Brian Hoffman, who soon recruited his brother, Eric to be the band’s second guitarist. With the lineup rounded out by drummer Steve Asheim, the group recorded an eight track demo entitled, "Feasting the Beast." After gigging sporadically around their home city, the band recorded a second demo, "Sacrificial" at Morrisound Studios with producer, Scott Burns, a place and man who would go on to be instrumental in the development of death metal.

Following the recording, Amon changed their name to Carnage and began performing live more regularly. Very soon, Carnage, or rather, Benton, gained notice from Roadrunner Records, when he reportedly barged into the office of an A&R man and aggressively demanded that they sign his group. The next day, Carnage were offered contracts by the label, but were urged to make a name change, leading them to settle on their current moniker, Deicide. They teamed up with Scott Burns again to record their self-titled, debut album, which was released in 1990. The album went on to become one of the best selling death metal albums of all time, being listed by Soundscan as the second highest shifting unit of the genre, behind the third Morbid Angel album, "Covenant." They followed this effort two years later with, "Legion," a much more ambitious album, which focused more the technical area of death metal. It was well received by fans, but was met with a mixed reception from critics, and only the song, "Dead but Dreaming" would go on to feature prominently in future live sets.

Although already being highly controversial for their extremely blasphemous lyrics, they intensified this theme on their next album, "Once Upon the Cross," which was released in April 1995 and featured such blunt titles as, "Kill the Christian" and "Christ Denied," as well as the title track. The album had to be re-recorded in order to make the songs longer, after the original takes only clocked in at twenty two minutes. It was received better than, "Legion," and was succeeded two years later by "Serpents of the Light," the title track of which was dedicated to a friend of Benton’s who had passed away, as well as being another attack of the Christian faith. The album proved to be their final collaboration with Scott Burns and soon they took the next step in their career with their first live album in 1998, entitled, "When Satan Lives," which was the first Deicide album to be produced solely by the band.

Their first release of the new millennium, "Insineratehymn," was another driving output, focusing on creating more atmospheric songs, but was better received than "Legion," leading Roadrunner to pressure the band into releasing another album the next year. When the record, "In Torment in Hell" did hit the shelves, it was met with poor reviews, with critics easily noticing the rushed production and accusing the band of lazy song writing and there were even rumours circulating around the internet that the band had intentionally written a bad album in order to get kicked off the label. Regardless of the circumstances, the disappointing album sales and reception did result in Roadrunner parting company with the group, ending their partnership with a "best of" in 2002.

After being released from Roadrunner, the band signed with English label, Earache for their next album, "Scars of the Crucifix," which produced their first ever music video for the title track. The album also gained some notoriety when it was revealed that the song, "Fuck Your God" was used as part of sleep deprivation routines on Iraqi detainees. While the album spawned a first for the band (the music video,) it also proved to be the end of a chapter, as the Hoffman brothers announced that they were leaving the group following their deteriorating relationship with Glen Benton, allegedly over royalties. They were replaced by Vital Remains guitarist Dave Suziki, and former Cannibal Corpse guitarist Jack Owen. Suziki only lasted a short while before replaced by former Death guitar player, Ralph Santolla. This new incarnation of Deicide recorded and released a new album in 2006 named, "The Stench of Redemption," which was hailed as a return to form and one of their finest albums to date, being awarded metal album of the year at the Turkish Metal Music Awards the same year.

Despite the success of the record, it was announced that Ralph Santolla had quit the band in 2007 to join fellow Florida death metal outfit, Obituary. After a brief hiatus, the remaining members recorded their first Deicide album (officially) as a three piece (though Santolla performed on the record as a session musician,) "Till Death Do Us Part," which was released in 2008 to mostly positive reviews. The next year, the group announced that they had signed a new record deal with Century Media, and that Santolla had returned to the band. With the "Stench of Redemption" lineup back in place, the quartet got to work on their next album, which eventually surfaced in 2011 under the name, "To Hell with God." The album spawned a disturbing, if somewhat humourous claymation music video for the song, "Conviction," which featured Benton chasing Jesus Christ throughout a city on a motorcycle. Since the release of the record, Santolla has once again left Deicide, his place taken by former Order of Ennead guitarist, Kevin Quirion. After touring for the last two years, the band are expected to release their next album in the new year, which will no doubt continue their legacy of brutal music, and polar take on bible bashing.

Deicide - "Dead By Dawn"

Deicide - "Kill The Christian"

Deicide - "Bible Basher"

Deicide - "Scars Of The Crucifix"

Deicide - "Homage For Satan"

Deicide - "Conviction"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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27 Comments on "Sunday Old School: Deicide"

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Anonymous Reader
1. I'm not Jesus Christ writes:

I love Deicide. They're in my top 5 favorite death metal bands of all time; the others are Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Obituary.

# Dec 23, 2012 @ 9:21 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

2. Cynic writes:

Why am I only watching the video for Conviction now? Oh god, claymation Jesus being chased down by Glen Benton on a motorcycle - brilliant.

# Dec 23, 2012 @ 2:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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3. brandedcfh420 writes:

lame recycled messages...deicide were lame then and are still lame....

# Dec 23, 2012 @ 2:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

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4. BrianMN writes:

Interesting article, I had never heard the Carnage part to the story before.

# Dec 23, 2012 @ 4:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. boston blackie writes:

They arent lame on vinyl or cd, live wise i'd recomend seeing them once atleast.
back in the late 90s early 00s i can remember the pitts at the live shows being beyond brutal, down right violent.
saw them a couple years ago and the pitts tamed down a bit.
good band, glen's always been a character.

# Dec 23, 2012 @ 5:44 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

6. Diamond Oz writes:

Cheers Brian, glad you enjoyed it!

# Dec 24, 2012 @ 5:55 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Spaghetti_Motel's avatar

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7. Spaghetti_Motel writes:

Great article, except that "Til Death Do Us Part" was actually not recorded as a three piece. Ralph Santolla played on the album as a session musician while not officially a member of the band.

# Dec 24, 2012 @ 8:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

8. Diamond Oz writes:

Edited :)

# Dec 24, 2012 @ 9:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
weasel321's avatar

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9. weasel321 writes:

branded - I have to some what agree with you. I loved "Once Upon the Cross" but, over the years, to an extent, they were getting repetitive. While their music is good, their direction has not changed. While this works successfully for some bands, for them this does not appear to be the case. If one of their songs comes on, I might not turn it off but, not they are not in my top 10 at all.

# Dec 24, 2012 @ 9:58 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jackrum's avatar

Supporter

10. Jackrum writes:

Convicton ideo is excellent

# Dec 25, 2012 @ 4:43 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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11. brandedcfh420 writes:

how many times can a guy say "f*** god" on every album before he realizes that its a freakin repeat of the last 3 albums?! O.U.T.C. was a good album, but Glen just never showed any talent beyond growling how much he hates god...

# Dec 25, 2012 @ 8:18 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. Mr Singh writes:

i use to listen to this music when i was 16 for like a year or two now i am 27 i cant stand this rubbish

# Dec 25, 2012 @ 3:12 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RememberMetal?'s avatar

Writer/Reviewer

13. RememberMetal? writes:

Deicide was my first exposure to death metal, self-inflicted and on accident.

An uncle (only 7 years older than myself) had introduced me to thrash when I was little. I thought I would dig a little deeper through his music ("must find more Slayer" was the mantra) and one day while playing Friday the 13th on his Nintendo, I listened to their self-titled album. Twice. I belly-laughed for about 10 minutes straight from the vocals. The nightmares were pretty intense though.

I still (nervously) giggle at the sight and sound of Benton.

# Dec 26, 2012 @ 9:05 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

14. BrianMN writes:

@RememberMetal...and that pretty much sums up Benton.
Back when the debut and legion were out Benton was viewed as a genuinely disturbed, evil individual.
But now?
Total caricature...kind of like that grumpy old uncle you're too embarrassed to introduce to friends.
Glen went from super cool to total tool in no time at all.

# Dec 26, 2012 @ 9:23 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

15. hellrat writes:

^ha...I guess im senile enough not to be able remember when Benton was ever even remotely 'cool'

"total tool", ah yes! but wasn't that always the case?

Scary? nah...shucks, I've known c0ckroaches with more malice and sinister execution... seriously

I giggle when I see that rumply lookin clown as well...from the sheer absurdity of the overwrought and played out specter :)

# Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:54 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

Member

16. BrianMN writes:

^Actually yes, there was a time when Mr. Benton was pretty cool. He got voted the most evil person on Earth, I don't know how many years in a row.
The upside down cross on his forehead.
The fact that he said he'd kill himself at 33.
Granted I was an immature douche to think these things...pretty cool.
Hindsight is everything...let's discuss the cross.
WOULD YOU REALLY WANT THAT ON YOUR FVCKING FOREHEAD FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?
To a teen kid in rebellion?
Pretty cool.
To adult Brian?
Complete douchery.
Benton's image pretty much got blown out of the water when he didn't keep his suicide promise...and when PETA beat him up...then he got jumped by Xtians and beat up again.
I'm sure when he saw Bigfoot in the forest it had long blond hair (Eric Hoffman) looking for his royalties.
Benton, much like Vincent showed his rock star wanna be crap a long time ago.
Sorry Glen...you're just old and boring now.

# Dec 26, 2012 @ 12:40 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
deathbringer's avatar

Founder, owner & programmer

17. deathbringer writes:

@RememberMetal? - my first exposure to death metal also, outside of earlier Sepultura that I explored after liking Arise and Chaos AD. My friends and I got a kick of out the "Vomit on the holy man" track and lyrics. My friend had that album, so I don't remember much else now, but ended up picking up a couple of their albums around the same time (early to mid 90s);

# Dec 26, 2012 @ 2:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

18. Diamond Oz writes:

"I'm sure when he saw Bigfoot in the forest it had long blond hair (Eric Hoffman) looking for his royalties."

Hahahaha!

# Dec 29, 2012 @ 8:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

Member

19. brandedcfh420 writes:

ahahhaahah good one OZ!!!!!

# Dec 29, 2012 @ 8:37 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

20. Diamond Oz writes:

Lol, all credit to BrianMN for that one.

# Dec 30, 2012 @ 7:08 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
brandedcfh420's avatar

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21. brandedcfh420 writes:

OOPS....hahahaaha

# Dec 30, 2012 @ 8:28 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Borntomosh's avatar

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22. Borntomosh writes:

Great article!

I think its interesting that the Hoffmans have brought back an incarnation of Amon and put out an album. In my eyes, it gives today's Deicide some healthy competition in terms of sound.

# Dec 30, 2012 @ 12:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

23. Diamond Oz writes:

Thanks for the compliment Borntomosh! I haven't got around to checking out the Amon album yet sadly.

# Dec 30, 2012 @ 1:02 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
BrianMN's avatar

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24. BrianMN writes:

^^^ :D !!!

# Dec 30, 2012 @ 7:19 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Borntomosh's avatar

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25. Borntomosh writes:

No problem, Oz! It probably doesn't help that Eric is asking for $20 + shipping per Amon CD.

# Dec 30, 2012 @ 9:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

26. Diamond Oz writes:

Ouch! I think I'll just YouTube it :P

# Dec 30, 2012 @ 9:24 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Borntomosh's avatar

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27. Borntomosh writes:

Exactly what I did lol

# Dec 30, 2012 @ 10:26 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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