Cianide: Gods of Death

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Cianide: Gods of Death
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Cianide: Gods of Death
Death Metal
Hell’s Headbangers
August 2nd, 2011
Release length: 39:31
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Myspace
Cianide has actually existed for quite some time, though for many they still remain an unknown group. Formed back in 1988, the band has gone from a straight forward Death Metal act to incorporating some heavy Doom Metal ideas. This Chicago, Illinois-based group has actually issued a number of releases, including five full-length recordings since The Dying Truth, their debut album from back in 1992. Gods of Death marks the sixth full-length effort from Cianide, and finds them at their new home with Hell’s Headbangers Records, a label known to many in the underground for it’s array of really evil and nightmarish Metal. After about six years without a full-length, does Cianide really live up to their fan’s expectations, as well as do justice to their label home with Gods of Death?

Gods of Death‘s production quality works very well for the band’s sound. The audio is far from clear in any sense, having a bit of a raw muffled sound with a thick, muddy sound that really pushes the heavier bass sound of the instruments while maintaining enough of a high pitched razor-like guitar sound that compliments the crushing bass guitar efforts. The gutturals on the recording also maintain that raw, muddy sound, but are far from being a cheap recording job, showing a strong professional atmosphere in them, and even the whole recording. Even the drums come out sounding solid and, thanks to that heavier atmosphere, even sound a bit deeper then most modern Death Metal acts, though the cymbols still sound lighter in comparison with all parts of the kit at the proper levels. At first, Gods of Death will leave you feeling uneasy with the opening gutturals of “Desecration Storm”, making you fear just how raw the recording will be, but once the catchy Death Metal with a hint of groove in the mix kicks in, all concerns will be lost as the song grabs the listener by the throat with it’s energetic performance and brutal atmosphere that will immediately make the listener want to start a mosh.

The music throughout the album does vary greatly. For instance, there’s also an undeniable Groove to some tracks such as the following track “Forsaken Doom”, which also has a bit of a Southern feel to the riffs, having a strong Pantera groove to them, but in a stricter Death Metal sense. In addition you also have the early Thrash with Hardcore influence on “Rising of the Beast”, turning this song into a furious fast paced two-step song that tears your face right off with it’s aggression and intimidating sinister and heavy atmosphere. And this becomes one of the more important aspects of Gods of Death. It seems almost every track on here has a very unique sound to them, and it just keeps going on from here to include tracks with that Doom Metal influence the band is known for having as well to create tracks that will simply shatter your soul, and even some more Swedish Death Metal influenced tracks that rival the more groove oriented American Death Metal tracks like “Desecration Storm” on this release. While this may seem like a bit too much variety, and in some ways it is, Cianide manage to retain that sound the band establishes right at the start of the album, so while you’re being thrown all over the place musically, the album still has a fluid progression to it with a great deal of intensity and crushing heaviness to it.

There are two tracks on here that do last much longer then the rest of the album, and these make for some of the more interesting tracks that nicely highlight the band’s talents. Unfortunately with these two, that energetic aggression doesn’t really exist, and while almost every track on the album has a unique sound and even a different style incorporated somehow, these two stick to the same Doom Metal oriented sound and foundation. “Dead and Rotting” is one of the songs to really incorporate that soul crushing Doom Metal input, and it’s done very well. The pace generally remains the same for much of the song, though there are some slower moments that occur during the song such as around the half way point, and the sound stays consistant from start to finish, though sometimes for certain passages the double bass kicks pick up a bit, but that’s about it. There’s enough variety to the music being played though that it never really gets dull or uninteresting, and manages to hypnotize the listener with it’s rhythmic mid-tempo pace, leaving you banging your head along throughout the track with that very same hypnotic rhythm from the drums being played. “The One True Death” is essentially the same way for a little more then a minute longer. The only real difference here is that it’s a much more brutal track without that hypnotic rhythm that “Dead and Rotting” has. This is fine, but doesn’t quite maintain the listener’s interest as much despite it’s more grotesque and and repulsive Death Metal approach.

There isn’t a single negative aspect to this entire album from start to finish. The only thing you can really say about it is that “The One True Death” doesn’t quite feel as unique as the rest of the tracks, but even that’s not a bad thing due to how solid the song is from start to finish. But with all these elements coming into play, it’s the final track that weaves this album up nicely. “Contained and Controlled” takes things back to the old-school Death Metal sound the album started with, and really pushes out a great deal of energy from start to finish that just hammers away at the listener and gets his/her blood pumping with intense and catchy music from start to finish, as well as a strong and well fitting guitar solo that isn’t the most impressive, having more of a simpler approach to it, but sounds so good against the already brutalizing music of the song that anything too technical or over-the-top would honestly completely ruin the violent and aggressive nature of the song and destroy the impact that it would have on the mosh pit, either where the listener decided to throwdown, or in the band’s live crowd. Of course, that same moshing urge is found on pretty much every track except for “Dead and Rotting” and “The One True Death”, though the Doom Metal approach the band took for these songs does not necessarily leave room for a lot of mosh action and meant more to capture the listener through desolate music and a hopeless atmosphere.

Gods of Death is a fantastic album from start to finish. The atmosphere of the recording is perfect, and the band’s music feeds off it well to assault the listener in the most brutal, intense, and sometimes hypnotic manners possible. There’s a good deal fo variety with a fluid sound through most of the album, and the band’s talent to keep listeners engaged during long periods of time is established well here too. Was the roughly six year wait for a new Cianide full-length worth it? Hands down it definitely was, and fans of Cianide will not be let down by Gods of Death in any way. While the band may still hide in the shadows, given the more popular acts of today like Novembers Doom that bring the Doom Metal sound into their Death Metal, it’s still a mystery why this band doesn’t have a bigger following that pulls them from their underground world of Death Metal kicking and screaming, but never the less, Gods of Death proves that Cianide still has what it takes to be one of the more important driving forces of the underground Metal world to date. If you appreciate brutal, intense, and energetic Death Metal with plenty of variety that will crush your pathetic soul every time you submit to another spin, then Gods of Death needs to be the next album you purchase.

01. Desecration Storm – 3:27
02. Forskane Doom – 3:58
03. Rising of the Beast – 3:13
04. Dead and Rotting – 7:35
05. Idolator – 3:40
06. Terrorstrikes – 3:50
07. The One True Death – 8:49
08. Contained and Controlled – 5:00
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Cianide (Band)
Cianide (Logo)
Digital review copy of this release provided by Hell’s Headbangers.