Deity comes from the Great White North, a 45 minute drive from Toronto to be exact. Other than that, they come pretty much out of the blue. While duo Danny Alessandro and John Massey formed the band years and years back, it has spent time on hold or in search of additional members, and it has taken until now to put an album together. The fact that the musicians involved are not inexperienced is nonetheless evident, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. What’s this all about?
Deity is first and foremost a death metal band, and as the piano intro “Suspended in Animation” fades and “Beginning of Extinction” begins, we’re already in tech death territory with hints of brutal. This initial, very convincing, impression is soon complicated – for better and for worse. Aiming to weld together a huge array of metal influences, Deity soon brings in elements of melodeath, of progressive death metal and even of heavy and black metal. To the great relief and joy of everyone everywhere, there are no obvious elements of -core, which means that the idiosyncratic experience remains solidly within the shining halls of Metal most True.
Well executed, semi-melodic death metal remains the foundation of the album, though it is seldom unaccompanied. Extremely melodic solos, progressive rhythms and varied vocals all play their part to make the album an ecclectic piece of death metal. Everything from Dimmu Borgir to Scandinavian 90’s melodic death metal and pure brutal death is packed in here. It would be too much to say that it always works – sometimes I can’t help but feel I would have preferred the extremely impressive death metal to remain somewhat more pure strain. Also, the grunting vocals are more inspired than the higher pitched ones – not that the latter are poorly executed or anything, it’s just that constant deep growling would have helped keep the album held together even through the more alien melodic passages.
Despite these caveats, it must be said that the admixture works surprisingly well. The major reason is that Deity know exactly what they are doing and have an extremely brutal production, the latter fact creating a coherence even when things are threatening to unravel. The playfulness of the song writing is positively inspiring, and the fact that you never have a clue of what is coming next is after all a feature, not a bug. Driven, dynamic and aggressive, Deity is metal at its metallest. The apex of the album is clearly “Ritual”, with its technical brutality and glimpses of Morbid Angelesque melodic lead guitars, but instrumental-acoustic prog piece “In Time” and thirteen minute epic “In Turmoil (We Rise)” also stand out as brilliant pieces of music.
The lyrics are classic “mature death metal”, with pessimism and apocalyptic themes mixing with crypto-political material. They are consistent in tone, sometimes coming together very nicely with the music to create border line sing along parts. This is a well thought out, impressive and interesting album, and for a debut it’s positively spectacular.
As far as I’ve been able to gather, this album will be released by the band themselves on June 2nd. To find out how to acquire it, I suggest you keep an eye on the band’s Facebook page, where an announcement is bound to be made any day now. In the meantime, check out the second single of the album below.