The Blues Non Est Mortuum

Darren Deicide

Berenice Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Not to be confused with the Florida death metal outfit Deicide, New Jersey's Darren Deicide has a penchant for the blues, although song titles like “Killing The Dead” and “Dance Of The Demond Rag” certainly do sound abrasive. On his first LP in seven years, Deicide brings in Reverend Adam Campbell from the Church of Satan and St. Louis talent Edgefield C. Johnston for the vinyl only physical release.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

After the album opener “Evocation Of The Infernal Jukehouse,” which is basically a quick shouted/barking message that's cryptic at best, the album moves into the guitar heavy and thick “Killing The Dead.” Deicide's vocals put on their own show here, from spoken to melodic singing and even gritty at times, while the music is blues, hypnotic, and not short on grooves. “Static” follows and bring the tempo down into a soulful, softer track that gets a little spooky near the end with 'ghost' like vocals. Deicide's influences show through with the delta blues and heavy plucking of “Devil Woman Blues,” a tune based off Skip James' “Devil Got My Woman.” Side A ends with the dirty, swampy rocker “My Star Spangled Banner,” where organs, tambourines, and forceful vocals make this one an odd but highlight on the album.

Side B leads with the mountain-esque instrumental acrobatics of “Dance Of The Demon Rag” before the bluesy, dark, slide guitar of “Throwing It All Away.” “Boom Power Boogie” brings the speed and tempo back and makes great use of the Hammond organ for danceable, finger snappin', toe tappin' fun, and the album exits on, believe it or not, a Mercyful Fate cover, “At The Sound Of The Demon Bell,” which sounds recorded live with distant vocals Deicide's unique, distinct vocals.

The album title translates to 'The Blues Is Not Dead,' and Deicide is not only proof of that but is bordering on forming a new subgenre of blues with his murky, unconventional approach that's oddly enticing.

Rating: B

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