taking sides: Stryper v. Deicide

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Which is the more ludicrous band?

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 3 December 2002 21:39 (seventeen years ago) link

What's wrong with Deicide? Stryper is one of the more ludicrous bands of all time.

Kris (aqueduct), Tuesday, 3 December 2002 21:45 (seventeen years ago) link

Surely this should be Stryper vs Cradle Of Filth?

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 3 December 2002 22:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Glen Twatmunk from Deicide once illustrated how evil he was by revealing that he was an avid torturer of hamsters.

that's pretty bloody evil, eh?

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 3 December 2002 22:12 (seventeen years ago) link

"Twatmunk"??????? Okay, I retract my last post.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 3 December 2002 22:15 (seventeen years ago) link

If they don't release a split=7" before I'm done with this post, I'm gonna do something drasti

J0hn Darn13ll3 (J0hn Darn13ll3), Tuesday, 3 December 2002 23:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Poor John.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 4 December 2002 00:08 (seventeen years ago) link

To Hell with the Devil!!!!

Joe (Joe), Wednesday, 4 December 2002 00:22 (seventeen years ago) link


nuf said

juiceboxxx, Wednesday, 4 December 2002 01:19 (seventeen years ago) link

I remember reading an interview with him what is in Deicide ages back, where he spent the first half of the interview talking about how he was going to kill himself next year and bring about a reign of darkness to planet earth, and the second half talking about how hard it was finding a Spice Girls pencil case for his daughter.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Wednesday, 4 December 2002 01:24 (seventeen years ago) link

STRYPER. Stryper had Michael Sweet, who, in pictures, pretended his fingers were guns. It was mega-awesome.

David Allen, Wednesday, 4 December 2002 02:00 (seventeen years ago) link

four years pass...


am0n, Thursday, 27 September 2007 04:04 (twelve years ago) link

legion is such a classic

latebloomer, Thursday, 27 September 2007 05:34 (twelve years ago) link


xox, Thursday, 27 September 2007 06:03 (twelve years ago) link

LOL awesome

latebloomer, Thursday, 27 September 2007 06:19 (twelve years ago) link

The first two Deicide albums are essential. I regard "Legion" as death metal's own "Reign In Blood".

The animal torture issue has been exaggerated. An Animal Rights group put a bomb in a Stockholm show back in 92 because of this:


And what about the animal torture allegations?
Glenn: Hur hur, y'know it seems to be ok if you take a rat trap to kill mice in your house right?

Seems reasonable I suppose.
Glenn: Man, I didn't do anything worse than that!

Uh oh.
Glenn: I did this interview for NME (dweeb music paper) and they drove out to meet me at my parent's house. At the time we had a problem with squirrels getting into the attic, chewing all the electrical conduit in the house and exposing all the wires. I managed to get the whole family (of squirrels) out without killing any of them except for this one persistent fucker. Everytime I'd block the hole thru which they came this guy would somehow get back in and it became a sorta battle between us. I tried to catch him and he¡¦d get away and this went on for a while. So, I'm doing this interview with these British guys and we're sitting out in the backyard which had a clothes line going across it and then this fucker comes out, strolls along the line and just fuckin sits there! This is no lie, he's just perched on the line, watching the interview. So I got my pellet gun right, and "bang!", took him right out and he hits the ground har har. All the NME guys were totally horrified and the next thing was all this Glenn Benton "animal killer" shit but what these people don't realise is that I live in the country and that's how people are there. I mean, there's millions of squirrels out there, you ain't gonna miss one man.....

no-nonsense, Thursday, 27 September 2007 07:12 (twelve years ago) link

I remember reading in Metal Hammer years ago how Deicide stopped throwing raw meat and offal on the crowd at shows because they didn't want any of their fans catching e.coli or salmonella or whatever. Hardly the action of a Satanist, that.

MacDara, Thursday, 27 September 2007 08:15 (twelve years ago) link

Then again, sick fans = lost record sales, and record sales = money for Deicide, so if Satanism = selfishness, then they were being true Satanists after all! Ahh!

MacDara, Thursday, 27 September 2007 08:17 (twelve years ago) link

dweeb music paper

DJ Mencap, Thursday, 27 September 2007 08:50 (twelve years ago) link

Deicide's fucking awesome. At least they were at one point.

Bill Magill, Thursday, 27 September 2007 13:48 (twelve years ago) link

seven years pass...

Seeing Cide tomorrow. Open the door Jehovah

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Friday, 13 March 2015 02:00 (five years ago) link

Does anyone remember the time Glenn Benton claimed he saw Bigfoot

Punny Names (latebloomer), Friday, 13 March 2015 16:47 (five years ago) link

They played Trifixion.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Saturday, 14 March 2015 04:42 (five years ago) link

The sound was garbage (h8 this venue) but show was great

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Saturday, 14 March 2015 04:43 (five years ago) link

also got a souvenir Deicide pick from Kevin Quirion.

Benton was in an unusually good mood. I've never seen the dude smile so many times, he's usually pretty dour.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Saturday, 14 March 2015 12:58 (five years ago) link

some nonsense I wrote about Legion. NOt even sure I appreciate about it what everybody else does but hey

Almost 25 years later, it's easy to forget what an impact Deicide's self-titled platter had on the fledgling death metal scene, or mainstream society as a whole. Earlier forays into death metal were largely rooted in the occult and Satanism, but of the cartoonish variety. The camp factor was there to reassure the more squeamish listeners that it was all in fun.

Deicide, on the other hand, had no such interests. Their first album was essentially a death metal treatise against the Nazarene, one of such chilling tunnel-visioned focus that it seemed authentic. One must also remember that this album came about in the waning hours of the "satanic panic" of the 80s, a time where soccer-moms and Baptist dads were actually convinced that legions of Satanic hellspawn were waging war on the nation. So in a sense, the environment was perfect for Glenn Benton and company to annihilate the scene.

Yet, when you actually *listen* to the album, it's easy to forget just how catchy it is. Glenn's inhuman growls, Asheim's annihilating drums, and the Hoffman brothers' netherworldly riffs may be an intense package, but the songs are downright hummable. All of which helped intensify the singularity of Deicide's purpose - a declaration of war on Christianity.

Of course, years later, it became readily evident that Glenn was no more serious about Satanism than Alice Cooper was about detonating schools. For all of his various antics, such as promising suicide at the age of 33, branding an inverted cross into his forehead, even naming his child "Daemon", it was purely theater. Which is not surprising - theistic Satanism isn't very common worldwide. Most self-identified Satanists fall into the Anton Lavey variety: Atheists who reject Judeo-Christian teachings.

Nonetheless, Deicide's message was appealing to listeners not because their followers were dying to join a bloodthirsty cult. In addition to its brutal aural assault, metalheads had grown tired of the conservative Christian values that were so pervasive in every day society. This album was a declaration of war on organized religion. To metalheads, who at the time largely felt like outcasts, it was a rallying cry.

Naturally, the first big hurdle Deicide had to clear is one that all bands go through - how to follow up their debut. The songs on the s/t had a couple of years of circulation prior to the s/t's recording, in the form of two demos (released under the band's original moniker, "Amon"). They had exhausted all of this material so now it was time to begin anew for their follow-up.

One could be forgiven at the time for assuming that Deicide would stay in their lane on album number two, and just expand the subversive sonic palette of the debut. Glenn and company had other plans. They deliberately set out to make things difficult for their fans.

Gone was the immediacy and structured-approach they had previously championed. "Satan Spawn, the Caco-Daemon" begins proceedings on a somewhat muted note. It's a curious opener, a largely dissonant, time-shifting train wreck that is the aural equivalent of bumper to bumper traffic. While not a *bad* song by any means, it lacks the focus and precision that "Lunatic of God's Creation" had, and while there are interesting moments, it ends with a dull thud.

"Dead But Dreaming", however, more than redeems that false start. Bookended with a thunderous, crescendoing power-chord feast, the main thrust of the song feels like tanks advancing on an unsuspecting enemy. Yet even this track contains few, if any, of the memorable riffs and precise flow of their prior effort. Whiplash inducing time changes abound, and the main riff itself seems like an extension of Asheim's percussive assault. And thus, it's on this track that it becomes apparent as to how the album should be experienced - a noisy, Satanic battering ram.

Glenn has previously indicated in interviews that the band sought out to deliberately cast aside any musical idea that was catchy, and this is evident in the finished product. It's also why the band is not so fond of this album in retrospect, and does not play much of this material in a live setting (outside of "Dead But Dreaming", and on some occasions "Trifixion").

It's admittedly difficult to recall these songs when not actively listening to the album - unlike technical death metal bands like Atheist, there's often no rhyme or reason for the detours the band takes on Legion. It's a messy, sprawling affair, one that almost intentionally seeks to obstruct its listeners from comfort. It dares its audience to pay attention, refusing to become background music.

The Hoffman brothers' leads are chilling as ever, often off-key Cerberic siren songs to lure listeners to the Depths of Hell. But the real star of this album is Asheim, whose pummeling drum onslaught guides the apocalyptic sound. The Hoffmans' riffs are an arm of the percussion, partnering to create a cacophony of dread as opposed to memorable songwriting. Glenn's deepening, multitracked vocals only enhance the effect.

As the album progresses, traces of the band's debut start to poke out. "Trifixion", for instance, contains a tremolo picked, chromatic descending riff reminiscent of those found on "Dead by Dawn". But no sooner does this familiarity show its face before the band launches into a jarring series of blasting tempo changes, an amelodic middle finger to anybody whose mind dared to wander.

Yet despite the bands's compositional sloppiness, these deviations work in their favor. The often disorganized and abrupt detours serve almost as their own little vignettes, songs within songs. The dispensing of the rulebook only enhances the terror, as if the band were swarming an enemy with unorthodox rituals to keep them off balance.

Benton's multitracked vocals only grew more powerful, this time not being altered with pitchshifters or harmonizers (contrary to their debut). At times the sounds he creates don't even sound human. These types of vocals are much more familiar in today's metal environment, but it's easy to forget that death metal vocalists had spent most of the 80s shrieking in a witchy, high-pitched rasp, and that the gutteral, bludgeoning style Benton utilizes here was a recent development in the genre. Sadly, Benton's innovative approach sparked several incapable imitators which contributed to some homogeneity in the genre; but in 1992, this was some scary, sick stuff.

Over the remainder of the album, Deicide veers closer and closer to the sound they perfected on their debut, but never let it marinate for long. Once indoctrinated, listeners can almost anticipate the next interruption, the moment the next earworm of a passage is immediately cast aside in favor of a disconnected jumble of ideas. Yet while that sounds disengaging on paper, the result is anything but - the album insists upon itself, demanding its listeners pay attention to it. As such, the album works much better as a whole than the sum of its parts. Although songs like "Dead But Dreaming" and "Trifixion" work well on their own in a live setting, few fans shout out requests for songs from this album because by themselves, they're far less interesting. The songs are best experienced as part of a 28-minute combative Satanic symphony.

Speaking of the length, I can't recall the last time a 28-minute album felt so 'long'. You might remember, this is the length of Reign in Blood. Yet that's not to say it's an exhausting listen, just that it can be transfixing (see what I did there?) in a way that makes one lose track of time.

Nonetheless, this approach would not have served the band well long-term (Glenn still isn't thrilled with the album), and from then on out, the band took a lean approach. The next album, Once Upon the Cross, is streamlined to almost retcon Legion out of existence. While a step down from Legion, it's an extremely strong effort, one that features some of 'Cides best efforts. But it was clear by the opening strains of that album that Deicide's experiment was over - but while that blunted their intimidation a bit, we should all be glad for the momentous slab of anti-Christian venom we were treated to decades ago.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Monday, 16 March 2015 19:06 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

i guess i'll go see them in june? assuming the infant enshrined spawn of the altar hasn't crushed mankind by then

am0n, Thursday, 9 April 2015 21:28 (five years ago) link

they're finally changing up their setlist (well, a LITTLE) so I think it's worth it.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Thursday, 9 April 2015 22:46 (five years ago) link

five years pass...

I remember reading an interview with him what is in Deicide ages back, where he spent the first half of the interview talking about how he was going to kill himself next year and bring about a reign of darkness to planet earth, and the second half talking about how hard it was finding a Spice Girls pencil case for his daughter.
― Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Tuesday, December 3, 2002 8:24 PM bookmarkflaglink

Benton doesn't have a daughter!

Neanderthal, Saturday, 12 September 2020 17:45 (one week ago) link

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