Label: Black Element
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 10 November, 2017
How many Death Metal albums open with a full piano piece? I can’t think of any, although I’m sure there are some out there because there’s like. a bazillion Death Metal records floating around. Still, this was a nice, impressive way to start the record, new band Deity showing right away that they’re not afraid to be different or, gasp, sensitive, in a genre known for brawn and brutality. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of heft to be delivered.
Deity is a new band consisting of two guys that have been on the scene in Canada for a long time. Danny Alessandro (Guitars/Vocals) and John Massey (Guitars/Vocals) can both really play and sing and it shows in every single composition on this heavy blast of Northern Death. It doesn’t hurt that they have Cryptopsy’s drummer, Flo Mounier, smashing away in the background, with an able assist from Florian Ravet on bass. The latter two are listed as session players only, but nothing about their playing feels gentlemanly or stately; they get down and dirty and really tear it up.
So, we have the piano opener, “Suspended in Animation,” letting Deity show they have talent beyond just bashing and thrashing, and right away, with track two, “Beginning of Extinction,” we find out that yes, they can deliver on the brutality, as well. This is a heavy song, a make-no-mistake Death Metal assault. If you were worried with the opener that you were going to get something foofy and esoteric, those fears should be quickly laid to rest. But don’t get too comfortable; these guys like to layer their sound, and they like to stretch and expand. I wouldn’t call this prog, because by no means is it something like Opeth would do, but they certainly don’t mind not playing by the rules, adding harmony and melody. About 3:40 in we get a pull back into a nice melodic part, the guys sounding a bit like very early In Flames. I will admit, this is the kind of Death I like best, brutal and heavy but able to bring some light to all the shade. It’s called dynamics, and these guys get it.
By the end of song two, you know fully what you’re getting for the rest of your listening experience. If you’re not onboard by then, you might as well jump off, because you’re going to get more of the same, which is to say, a band that expands the limits of viciousness, seasoning it with plenty of melody and grace. This whole thing is so professional, but not in some kind of clinical way. It’s plenty warm, with lots of soul put into every damned note.
Another observation: for a record with only eight songs, it’s pretty bold to make three of those purely instrumental. That’s almost half of the record. And not only that, you get one piano piece and one acoustic guitar piece. Did I mention the eight and a half minute bruiser “From Which We came…We Now Return?” Oh dear Satan. This last one is kind of a bit like listening to some hippie jam band gone Death. No, it’s not noodly, but man, it switches gears and really just rocks out with no hesitation, letting the music carry the song where it wants to go. It feels like the guys just stepped back and said, “Take us there,” and the Metal did. It’s sweeping and epic and amazing and, for me, the highlight of an already great record. This song could be a show-stopper when played live.
I have to also mention closing track, “In Turmoil.” Twelve plus minutes of assault. The guys spend the first almost eight minutes just punching you in the face, a full-on guitar attack, heavy and as unrelenting as anything available out there. Sure, they start to slow it down for the last four minutes, staying heavy for a bit, crunching and riffing, before it bleeds out with a sweet melodic ending. Yet another highlight on a record full of great songs.
Canada has been killing it lately when it comes to Metal, and Deity is no different. They’re a band that sound like they’ve been playing together for twenty years and every note, every riff, every drum fill, is placed in nearly the perfect spot every time. Brutal, heavy, bruising, cruising, riffy, touches of Black here and there, dashes of Maiden thrown in to deepen the textures, this one has it all except for clean singing. If you’re looking for something a bit different, an album you can listen to repeatedly to catch new things, something with more depth than most Death Metal, Deity is your new favorite.
1. Suspended In Animation
2. Beginning of Extinction
4. From Which We Came…We Now Return
6. Of Time
7. Illuminate The Unwilling
8. In Turmoil
Total Playing Time: 55:53