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Deicide - Legion
Review: After a promising debut in which an occultist theme in image and music unleashed its nascent potential upon a sleeping world, Deicide tackled the second album stopping point head on with their most ambitious statement yet of complexity and theory in opposition to the mindless, and it almost destroyed the band. The end product was under a half hour, and even a 44-second detour into a cinematic evil intro did not change this violation of form. Further, in a time when image was becoming recognized as important many felt the aesthetics did not live up to the abstracted lunacy of the first. While this dialogue occurred, Deicide created an enduring statement to the evolution of death metal technique with a Miltonian will to oppose all central control and morality through music which cannot accept stasis.
A rage of vocalist churlish hurls a howling sequential cadenced murmur topping volume of percussive guitars moving a tonal center in arpeggio around which undulation in rhythm encodes dialogue internal to placement at that space within a counterpoint warplan of colliding halves, complementary, founding a justified jihad within the place of motivic change and motion, wavelike curling and collisive, to which songs adhere in wisdom of pop music using melodic hook underneath the thrusting roar, an American trailer Mozart creating from the trash of dead empires a rhythmic delivery of larger vision (thus inconvenient; thus resurrective; thus immortal pyrrhic like the dead empires themselves).
Pompous, righteous, aggressive the guitar duality merges in constant interplay between harmonies and unified rhythm shifting subtle texture within constant iteration of theme in usefully changing avenue, pointing units at one another across a tonal divide of vast yet often chromatic advances; its arrogance is its elitism, and its elitism is to encode its masterview within the next intensity level of the technique used by Discharge, then Slayer, and then Sepultura in its evolution. Warring between two statements, if each self consistent justifies its melodic balance with rhythm and structural management of tonal division to resonate with conceptual position, naturally invokes the human cognitive apparatus toward perceptual tokenization and thus statement, in language as in natural resolution to gaps in data, of x-compare-y as the weapons of battle are unasheathed.
From this modal playing framing atonal song development is a dying Baroque gasp given ferocity by the gutter logicianship of death metal in a rising force of logic within the decaying realm, a negative truth within a larger existential conception which can never be reconciled with the forces of Judeo-Christian morality; its expression (cause and effect as self-inventing forms of calculation and change) brings to mind the ancients alongside the more recent philosophical efforts in Nietzsche and Heidegger to replace morality with a primal, natural valuation of a constantly changing aesthetic landscape with unaltering core values, as seen is the modern time.
Masterminds Asheim and Benton conspire on theme and motion but percussion commands instrumentalism by integrating constant foreshadowing or thematic recurrence in textures shifting externally while contemplating inward dialogue with accentuation resonant throughout three themes simultaneously. Herein is the seat of division which propels negativity against its opposite to reveal the similarity within, dissolving dualism through acidic degeneration of theme to uncover the opponent structure as natural and the free beast thus engaged warlike in adversarial strikes against the kingdom of goodness that is the justification for a post-modern industrial society. Jazz and rock theory are reduced to unabashed worship of linear simplicity overlaid with topological extensions recurrently integrated into conceptual points of emphasis to each phrase, resulting in a technicality and innovative scope few drummers are allowed to match. Bentonic bass: direct, adventurous often, too often a creative element hidden that needed a second bass track.
While slackers, none of these instrumentalists are shabby in the sense of rendering, although their riffs are elemental, drum patterns basic, and vocal cadences so essential to the pop nature of each composition that they are obvious to the listener and in retrospect may seem overdone. Yet composite this work expresses an essential belief of death metal: there must be a way to escape the cloying public tendencies toward social compromise and vapid material values as symbolism obstructing the intricacy and necessity of the problem of negativity in modern spiritual and philosophical thought as inherent to any questing, querying, ambitious life, and this fantastic vision of mental clarity and exploration is one generation summarized as an introduction to the genre.