December 9, 2011 | , | 3.5

Cianide, Gods of Death

Cianide: Gods of Death

I can still remember spying Cianide’s The Dying Truth as a fledgling metal head back in 1992. There it sat in the appropriately titled “Death Metal” section at a local music chain. The skeleton umbrella hovering over the souls falling to hell was much too much for me to bypass. Then I got home, popped that cassette into the player and let ‘er rip. I had never heard anything remotely as slow moving, guttural and crusty as that album until then. Now the doom/death metal heathens from Chicago have released another unholy slab of thundering hell in the form of Gods of Death, the band’s first release since 2005.

Now, this latest slab of crawling, doomy death metal isn’t nearly as raw as that debut back in the day, but I’ll be damned if the band has changed all that much in the past 15 years. They’re still serving out the fetid, crawling doom-fueled death metal with nary a blastbeat to be found. Sure the tempos are amped up throughout the album, injecting some urgency into the music (see opener “Desecration Storm” for instance), but there a couple of choice tracks that chug along at the speed of decay. Vocally, the growls are a bit distant and not quite understandable which, of course, suits the music perfectly.

The primary riff that starts off “Forsaken Doom” reminds me of something I’ve heard in the past (Cannibal Corpse maybe), but I can’t quite pinpoint it. At any rate, the song churns along with even more distant growls and that thick, repetitive riff that is perfectly content on bludgeoning you slowly into oblivion. “Rising of the Beast” picks the rabid pace back up with a classic death metal vibe as the guys plunder through driving riffs and up-tempo drums. This song is certainly not my Cianide of old — it’s better. I love this track. Another ripper would be “Idolator” which gets right down to business with d-beat style rhythm as the classic death metal riffing comes in. It’s a head banger for sure.

As much as I enjoy the quicker paced material, it’s tracks like “Dead and Rotting” that really draws my attention, especially with it’s early Obituary influence. The slow moving, behemoth is definitely a favorite on Gods of Death. Another crawler to be on the look out for would be “The One True Death,” complete with some of the creepiest guitars on the album. Man, this song is a beast fully set on crushing any hopes you may have had of a happy and fruitful life — it’s a monolithic creeper.

I may have missed out on a few releases (I thought they had just flat out disappeared) between Cianide’s excellent debut and this latest slab of crushing death metal, but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy the hell out of Cods of Death. It’s a great example of why I loved these guys so much to begin with. It’s also great to hear a band not bend to any trends and stick to what they love and know — lurching death metal right from the mean streets of Chicago.