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Once Upon The Cross / Serpents Of The Light

Review by Gary Hill

This collection of two Deicide albums in one double disc set is classy. You know, I'm not actually a fan of death metal in general. For the most part it doesn't do much for me. For some reason this band is an exception. They just land it better than a lot of the other bands, do on a personal level. Now, if you are offended by anti-Christian lyrics, you probably want to avoid these guys. Just the song titles would probably tell you that, though. It should be noted that this kind of music, by definition, is not that well suited to track by track reviews, but that's how we do CD reviews at MSJ, so here we are.

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Track by Track Review
CD 1
Once Upon the Cross
Once Upon the Cross

Sound effects and a quote from Jesus on the cross open this piece. It launches out from there to some brutal death metal. The growls are fierce, and this is intense.

Christ Denied
If anything, this number seems even more ferocious. It's frantic and utterly heavy.
When Satan Rules His World
While not a big change, this is another brutal death metal stomper.
Kill the Christian
If anything this is even more brutal.
Trick or Betrayed
They don't let up or relent. This is another screamer. There is a cool, rather melodic riffing that rises up for a time.
They Are the Children of the Underworld
More fierce and brutal death metal is on the menu here. That said, it's not a big change.
Behind the Light Thou Shall Rise
If possible, the opening section of this seems even faster and more intense.
To Be Dead
The riffing on this at times feels positively maniacal. The cut is another fierce slab of death metal.
Confessional Rape
This is another powerhouse piece of brutal death metal.
CD 2
Serpents of the Light
Serpents of the Light

I absolutely love the furious and frantic riffing that brings this cut into being. There are some demonic growls that join after a time. This is one of my favorites on this double disc set. The guitar soloing is positively psychotic. The vocals surprisingly border on infectious on the chorus.

Bastard of Christ
More fierce and furious death metal is on the menu here. The vocals get positively brutal.
Blame It on God
This just fires out with maximum speed and intensity. The riffing is particularly tasty. The vocals are suitably guttural, but you can still understand what's being said. That's a skill.
This Is Hell We're In
If anything, this feels even faster than the last one. The onslaught is brutal and unrelenting.
I Am No One
Another that stands above the rest, this just has something particularly cool about it. Overall, it's not a big difference, but it just works so well that it gets elevated.
Slave to the Cross
Mean and at times demonic, this has some particularly interesting lyrics. This is another standout for me. It also has some especially intriguing musical interplay later. The guitar soloing is on fire, as well.
Creatures of Habit
Here we get more furious and pounding death metal. This isn't a big change, but it's another solid track.
Believe the Lie
You know what you are going to get here. This isn't a change of any kind, really, but it works well.
The Truth Above
I really love the riffing that gets this thing going. It's another that stands taller than some of the rest. A lot of the lines of vocals come in short bursts that work so well. This is another fierce monstrosity. It has some killer guitar fills, too.
Father Baker's
I really dig the rhythmic structure of this cut a lot. Overall, it's not a big change, but it just gels particularly well.
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