#FOR FANS OF: Death/Thrash
A Canadian outfit that has patched all its influences onto its sleeve, Deity boils down a broad cast of characteristics into a concentrated reduction of recognizable and reminiscent riffs. This basic death metal album is a display of talent and its take on a by-the-numbers full-length that unfortunately misses the mark. Even with the addition of the well-known Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy fame, this band seems more interested in presenting more of the same rather than setting itself apart from the pack, resulting in a generic and unfulfilling full-length that will keep you thinking, 'I've heard this all before'.
From the Cannibal Corpse opening to “Beginning of Extinction”, which eventually drowns in the sludge of an Acacia Strain breakdown, to the safe sounding Cryptopsy in a cradle “Sacrificium”, Deity's death metal is a patchwork of emulation that, like a paper thin blanket in February, nominally covers its area without much in the way of substance. Where it does cover is itchy with heartless stitching, noisy from the nearly plastic fabric, and mass-produced without a care for leaving any instance of uniqueness. This isn't to say that the musicians themselves are bad, merely their songwriting is. Deity is a band with all the right ingredients but still comes off as contrived, dollar store death metal muzak and just barely escapes the implications of the word 'plagiarism'. If death metal bands came together to celebrate little Chuckie's birthday, bouncy house and all, Deity would be the gaggle of little ones playing house, acting like mommy and daddy do, while the parents swill beer and keep the other kids from falling into the pool.
Try as I might, I can't seem to enjoy this album. There are too many plastic parts, easily interchangeable and obviously shoehorned into an album that plays without passion and instead points out and yells the name of every one of its obvious influences as though telling its audience, “see, we have all of these things, now give us money.” Just because you have the materials it doesn't mean you have the house. Though the band's music is effortlessly talented, it sounds passionlessly phony and predictable, like how “Rituals” manages to be the shortest song on the album and the longest slog imaginable with its inability to go anywhere despite screaming solos through the song. Hampered by too few ideas and even fewer original thoughts, despite this album somehow being 'fifteen years in the making', Deity is an almost totally superfluous addition to the genre. It's hard not to be underwhelmed when this band comes off as so jaded that they know exactly how to make hits and it's everyone else's fault that this tepid series of samples isn't selling. Like the generic mirrored logo, this band is all style with no sense, all show without substance, and shows just how commercialized and formulaic death metal can be without the draw of personality.
There are a couple of redeeming qualities to this experience. The instrumentals “From Which We Came, We Now Return” and “In Time” sound clean and crisp with the former being a memorable and energetic romp that features plenty of interesting soloing and the latter, a mix of acoustic Zeppelin and Metallica moments that create an intriguing folk rock accompaniment to any role-playing game. Flo Mournier's drumming shines on the former, galloping alongside a Maidenesque locomotion of trilling guitars. Finally, there is glory to behold in this album and the nine minutes of “From Which We Came, We Now Return” pass by like a dream. This is what Deity would sound like if it made its own music, and it is actually very good. Hemmed in between such dross, these tracks receive a major disservice from their unusual placement in an album that could easily be mistaken for a parody of death metal.
I was wondering why a new album featuring Flo Mounier's drumming would pass completely unnoticed by the death metal community, but there's a reason for this unhappy happenstance. Deity is drivel for the most part with a slight silver lining, as though a glint of sunlight deflected off a water droplet leaking from an old filthy faucet in a silent kitchen where you have dinner alone on a Tuesday evening. Rather than cook up something unique, Deity has taken the time in this first album to demonstrate its ability to take the heat and produce something barely passable with quality ingredients and a keen knowledge of timing, all the elements of a talented amateur stepping too far out of his element. Like the million different takes on any basic dish, it's interesting to explore the possibilities of where you can remix everyone else's sound, but like the casserole at Thanksgiving dinner, this album will go uneaten for the flavorless mush it is.