Vital Remains : Icons of Evil (2007) review
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Glen Benton, Tony Lazaro, Dave Suzuki.
- Where is Your God Now
- Icons of Evil
- Born to Rape the World
- Reborn... the Upheaval of Nihility
- Hammer Down the Nails
- Shrapnel Embedded Flesh
- Til Death
- In Infamy
- Disciples of Hell" (Yngwie Malmsteen Cover)
Certain infidels who were unimpressed by latter Deicide efforts maintain Glen Benton should stick with Dave Suzuki in Vital Remains instead of continuing with his own band. That, or he should have fulfilled his self-destructive prophesy and committed Glenoncide at age 33. While Glen seems like a jovial fellow, crucifix burnt on his forehead and drunken delinquencies besides (or maybe because), the guy is not the sharpest splinter on a vampire stake. However, with the last Deicide effort, the shunned Son of Satan himself rose considerably in my estimation. This Vital Remains album further redeems Benton.
The previous Vital Remains album, Dechristianize, started with a Carmina Burana sample. As much as I admire Orff's work, the smell of Old Spice is not one I'd like to associate with a heavy metal record. Nay, I prefer the stench of redemption, or better yet the stench of fire and brimstone. It seems that Suzuki shares my passion for perdition. Icons of Evil kicks off with a sample from The Passion of the Christ. The movie was not as Good as the Book, but the sample is a marked improvement over the Orff cliche.
Suzuki is a matchless guitarist and a matchless drummer. If you liked Dechristianize, you would like Icons of Evil. Seemingly effortless sweep arpeggios, tumultuous drums and sinister writing orchestrated together with Glen Benton's vocals resembling a lawnmower running over rabid ferrets. I've had this album for about 2 months, and I'm still not tired of it. My neighbours are a different story though...
My copy has a slipcase with an anguished face and the title in handsome red crimson writing. Once inside the slipcase, a rather disturbing image of the king of kings being nailed to the cross meets me. Seriously man, petty blasphemies are one thing, but why Elvis? You just don't go there. The horror doesn't end there.
Inside the booklet, we find the band posing in front of unsavoury banners. In the middle, there is a centrefold. Before you get all excited at the prospect of seeing Glen in lederhosen, let me explain. It is a painting of the three guys in the band and Eddie from Iron Maiden on horseback. The four horsemen are gripping chains. These chains are tied to a body at their centre, the body being that of Elvis. Their horses are ripping the body of Elvis apart. Now that is too much metal for one hand.
Here is a little taste of the track Born to Rape the World live, with Brian Hobbie on vocals. He looks rather jehovial himself:
Suzuki furthers the ambitions of his brilliant project with this worthy release. Technical death metal in the tradition of Tampa still owns all. Ultimately, technical finesse and brute force tactics combine in a smorgasbord of fire, brimstone and the passion of the Elvis. The Malmsteen cover is a brutal kick in the nads, but in a nice way. Ruthless like a rabid ferret!