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Crucifixation: Early Years

Review by Gary Hill

I have to admit that I've never been a big fan of death metal. This band and this set might really change my mind on that. This set features the group's first two albums along with a disc of demos dating back to the days when they went by the name "Amon." The thing is, those demos don't really sound like demos. This is quite the strong set. If there's ever a gateway to death metal, this might be it. I should mention that I wrote about a couple of the songs here when I did my first book. The track reviews of those songs are taken from what I said in that tome.

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Track by Track Review
Lunatic of God's Creation

Stabbing lines of guitar open this and hold it for a time. Then the cut turns brutal from there. This is driving and has vocals that are somewhat growled, but also screamed. This thing is unrelenting, showing off a thrash intensity but a much more extreme angle. There is an abrupt switch later to ferocious mosh-pit inducing stuff.

Sacrificial Suicide
Perhaps a bit less intense as it gets underway, this is more pure thrash. The vocals are not quite as extreme, either. That said, there are some twists and turns that feel almost hardcore punk.
Oblivious to Evil
This is another thrashy screamer. It's perhaps more mainstream thrash than either of the previous tunes. That said, it's still got more extreme vocals than that might suggest.
Dead By Dawn
I originally wrote about this song in The Strange Sound of Cthulhu: Music Inspired by the Writings of H.P. Lovecraft. Here's what I said about it. "The song is an intriguing one. Frantically fast riffing with some killer guitar sounds form the basis. The vocals are a combination of hardcore, death metal and thrash. The band manage to create a sound that is uniquely alien. It’s definitely not for everyone with its extreme nature, but does a fairly good job of capturing a dark and scary tone that fits Lovecraft. This is some very tasty guitar work reminiscent of Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny era." I would add that there are some literally monstrous sounds on this at times.
Pounding, screaming and driving, this is pure intensity. It's angry and mean. It's also so cool. This is dark stuff that seems a merging of hardcore punk with thrash and the chemical mixture that makes it death metal.
Another ferocious death metal screamer, this is a powerhouse. There are some demonic vocals at a couple points here. The guitar solo is intense, but also almost other-worldly.
Carnage in the Temple of the Damned
This opens with a recording of Jim Jones getting his followers to kill themselves. The cut pounds out with fierce metal energy from there. Some of the most inhuman vocals we've heard so far are featured on this track.
The intensity isn't letting up as this powerhouse gets underway. It's driving, mean and so intense.
Day of Darkness
Screaming hot, angry and unrelenting, this is another killer slab of death metal.
The closer is not a big change, but it doesn't need to be when it's this good. Some of the riffing on this is among my favorite music on this first disc. Some of the vocals get so alien and demonic.
Satan Spawn, the Caco- Daemon

Weird sound effects are heard at the beginning this. The sounds of goats join. Then a demonic voice is heard. That gives way to another driving, pounding death metal screamer. This thing is intense and extreme.

Dead But Dreaming
Another that I originally wrote about in The Strange Sound..., here is what I said about it there. "This one seems more likely to be drawn from Lovecraft’s work directly, but that does not seem to be the exclusive source for the lyrics. 'The house of death is opening / Hanging from their primal sleep / Forbidden to be seen / Spirit of the elder gods / Are dead but must live on / Still to life and yet they breath / Dead but dreaming... / Lords of the world within the space between.' Musically this one doesn’t stray far from the path of the other piece (That referenced "Dead By Dawn"), but is a bit less creepy and more straightforward. Once again, it is a fast paced number that is based on some strong riffing. The vocals here fall more fully into a death mode, though."
Repent to Die
They are not letting up one bit as this furious and mean cut gets going. It has some particularly cool riffing at times. The killer guitar soloing on this is also among the best of the whole disc.
This thing almost seems even faster than what came before it, if that's possible. It has some especially mean riffing, too. The death metal growls are more angry and guttural. I guess you could say that this song out Deicides what came before it. There is a spoken, but still demonic, section later in the track for a time.
Behead the Prophet (No Lord Shall Live)
Here is another that has some especially tasty riffing. This doesn't sacrifice intensity or brutality for it, though. It's another death metal screamer.
Holy Deception
This is no big change, but rather another effective pounder.
In Hell I Burn
I like the riffing on this one a lot. This cut has some intriguing twists and turns including a couple great galloping sections. This is not a huge departure, but enough of a change to provide a little variety. At about four-and-a-half-minutes of music, this is the longest track on this second disc.
Revocate the Agitator
Angular, stabbing guitar lines are heard on this. They provide an intriguing texture to the rather brutal death metal onslaught.
Amon: Feasting the Beast
Lunatic of God's Creation

Starting with sound effects that seem like someone walking to a cell, this fires out into very hardcore like speed metal. This is fierce and extreme.

Sacrificial Suicide
Thrash is heavily in place here. This is another scorcher of brutality.
I love some of the guitar sounds on this thing. The soundscape is dense and powerful. I think I might actually prefer this version. It feels like some kind of blast furnace a lot of the time. There are some seriously demonic growls later in the track.
Carnage in the Temple of the Damned
Furiously fast and brutally heavy, this is another screamer that works well.
Dead By Dawn
I think I might prefer this version of the previous song, too. It is perhaps a bit less alien in tone, but it is still very cool. I think it might have a bit more immediacy. It definitely feels more hardcore punk, too. I know I prefer the crazed guitar section later to the other version.
This is furious, heavy and brutal. It's another serious powerhouse. The cut is unrelenting in its ferocity.
Feasting the Beast
Feasting the Beast (Intro)

This short piece is made up of effects and sounds that create a theatrical type piece. It feels like something out of a haunted attraction. The Beast seems to be getting fed, it sounds as if it eats humans.

Sacrificial Suicide
The vocals on this are decidedly monstrous and muffled. They feel like they are delivered from under a ton of mud. The cut has a raw and driving musical arrangement and really rocks.
Day of Darkness
The vocals here are animal like. The music is driving and fierce.
Oblivious to Nothing
The introduction takes it in one direction, but it shifts to a more traditional (for Deicide) sound from there.
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