Deicide is a death metal band.
Deicide was formed in the death metal-rich groves of central and southern Florida in 1987 by guitarists Brian Hoffman and Erik Hoffman (with relation -- they're brothers), drummer Steve Asheim and bassist/vocalist Glen Benton, who is in his own right something of a circus freak-ish Satanic debater who used to make calls to on-air religious radio broadcasts like the one über-schyster Bob Larson had running several years ago, before even the most gullible religious people realized that he was full of shit and in it only for the money.
The main difference between the average death metal band on the street (or in the garage), as it were, and Deicide is that the members of Deicide are actually real Satanists. They're bona fide followers of the teachings of the (lamentedly late) Satanic high priest Anton Szandor LaVey, and of everyone's favourite minor deity, Satan himself. To that end, they actually practice what they preach in some of their lyrics, which in their early years often contained a Satanic theme of some sort, though in later years they seemed to have run out of praise for the Dark Lord, as their lyrics became more and more political.
Their sound -- what words can describe it? Consider the heaviest of heavy guitar sound, distorted to such a degree that the guitarists may as well be standing naked in pools of water while getting struck by lightning; the almost thermal assault of the huge basslines; and the mad double bass drumming that has made the junkie-thin Steve Asheim a deity in his own right, in certain circles (pun most definitely intended). The vocals are the most evil sounding growls and snarls, the most wretched onslaught of unprocessed verbal energy you could ever imagine. Put them all together and you get Deicide, the act of killing the Christian god.
What Deicide writes songs about, what they use as cover art, and their general attitude makes the darkest work of Dario Argento seem like a tepid Woody Allen venture. They transcend the evil they emanate, and to the casual onlooker, they must look and sound like Satan's house band on Devil's Night at the worst dive bar in the deepest, most shit-impacted bowels of Hell. However, they do take themselves seriously, so you won't see Jerry Springer onstage at one of their shows being fed into a giant anus. Instead, you'll just see Brian, Erik, Steve and Glen, doing what they do best -- playing songs about Satan and the evils of Christianity. Mops of long hair bang up and down in 8/4 time with the beating of the double bass as Glen vomits out the lyrics as if they were a 20-ton industrial stamping machine.
Brian and Erik left the band in 2004, during the support tour for Scars of the Crucifix, allegedly kicked out by Benton due to their problems with steroids. They were replaced by Jack Owen, formerly of Cannibal Corpse, and Dave Suzuki, formerly of Vital Remains. Owen left after the tour and was replaced by another Vital Remains guitarist, Ralph Santolla. Suzuki and Santolla left the band in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Owen returned in 2007 to replace Santolla on tour; Santolla still plays on studio recordings. So the band now exists as a four-piece again (Benton (bass/vocals), Asheim (drums), Owen (guitar) and Kevin Quirion (guitar)). The onslaught continues.
- Deicide (Roadrunner Records, 1990; remastered rerelease, 1998)
- Legion (Roadrunner Records, 1992)
- Amon: Feasting the Beast (Roadrunner Records, 1993)
- Once Upon The Cross (Roadrunner Records, 1995)
- Serpents of the Light (Roadrunner Records, 1997)
- When Satan Lives (recorded live at the House of Blues in Chicago) (Roadrunner Records, 1998)
- Insineratehymn (Roadrunner Records, 2000)
- In Torment, In Hell (Roadrunner Records, 2001)
- Scars of the Crucifix (Earache Records, 2004)
- The Stench of Redemption (Earache Records, 2006)
- Doomsday L.A. (live DVD) (Earache Records, 2007)
- Till Death Do Us Part (Earache Records, 2008)
- To Hell With God (Century Media, 2011)
Unsurprisingly for a death metal band of this calibre, no singles have been released, though Amon: Feasting the Beast was an EP of sorts. It's a compilation of some demo tracks recorded in the late 1980s, which feature heavy vocal processing, making the lyrics 99% unintelligible.
Once Upon The Cross was extremely controversial when it was released, due to the cover art, which featured the dead body of Jesus Christ sprawled, still in his crucifixion pose, upon an autopsy table, surrounded by various post-mortem instruments and containers, while his abdomen was split completely apart, his internal organs exposed. Strangely enough, just about every non-independent record store in the USA refused to carry it unless the cover was censored, and so a censored version was released, which was merely a black single-page jewel case liner that gave the name of the album.
So, if you're not offended by lyrics like "Go fuck your god" and you're into death metal, you should definitely pick up at least one of their albums, even if just for curiosity's sake. I personally recommend Legion, which is my favourite. I got a lot of shit for wearing the Legion t-shirt to high school in the early 1990s -- the back read "END OF GOD, THE WAY IT MUST BE." The front displayed the early-90s era Deicide logo, which was a myriad of inverted crosses somewhat resembling a dodecihedron.
A few fun facts: Deicide is the band most recognised by ignorant Christian television ministries when they complain about music adversely affecting "our" youth. Also, the opening track on Legion contains some outright backmasking -- it sounds sinister as fuck, but it's just Glen reciting "Satan spawn, the caco-daemon" repeatedly while lambs bleat when played in reverse. The song is supposedly about his son, Daemon. (His wife has a decidedly less demonic name -- Lisa.)
Times I've seen this band live: 1 (Detroit, 1995)