Although it might seem as if Deicide has already done enough touring for 2013’s In the Minds of Evil, Glen Benton and Co. are doing one more U.S. tour prior to the completion and release of their twelfth album. A Hill to Die Upon and Tyranny Enthroned served as openers for Deicide’s night of live mayhem on May 29th. A Hill to Die Upon was an Illinois-based black metal band covered in corpse paint, with red lighting to visually accompany their dark, atmospheric music. Tyranny Enthroned was a local death metal band with a crunchier sound, but some black metal tendencies. They were less image-focused, but chose to set the tone for their performance with blue lightning. They faced some technical difficulties which held their show back for several minutes.
In spite of this, all of the bands took the stage earlier than their scheduled times. Both bands served as strong warm-ups, enabling the crowd to get started with some heavy, evil music while still leaving them hungry for the main event. When it was time for Deicide to get back to the stage, the red lighting was appropriately resurrected. This tour introduced new guitarist Mark English to the fold, who appeared to be disinterested or depressed onstage, at least at the beginning of the show. He’d start to show a snarl or smile occasionally, but you have to wonder why he is not more thrilled to be onstage. In spite of this, English is actually one of the most skilled axemen ever recruited by Benton and Asheim. Both English and Kevin Quirion play much better leads than most of their predecessors. The audience did not shy away from saying anything on their minds at this show. Some guy flamboyantly shouted, “What up, Deicide?” after a song, which led to Glen Benton chuckling at him and labeling him a fruitcake. Another guy yelled, “Glen Benton for President!”, but Glen told him instead, “I always wanted to be a surgeon general.” The controversial Benton stood a bit too close to the microphone for much of the set, resulting in an unpleasant level of fuzz in the sound. This problem eventually went away, but the energy remained powerful that night. “(They Are) The Children of the Underworld” was perhaps the most energetic moment of the whole show, but I was more excited for “Sacrificial Suicide”, “Oblivious to Evil”, and “Dead But Dreaming”.
They played an average of two songs per album, although they dug out a few more from their self-titled debut and Once Upon the Cross, and neglected some of the least popular pieces in their discography. Although they played for roughly an hour and ten minutes, they still managed to squeeze a large amount of material into that time frame. Consequently, it felt like they played longer than they did. When it came time to perform the last song of the night, an audience member shouted for “Dead By Dawn”, but Glen insisted that they were going to play a different song, namely “Dead By Dawn”. So, while the show may have been a little short, fans were still treated to what felt like a full set. They had the pleasure of hearing most, if not all, of the classic Deicide tunes that brought them to the gig without having to drive all the way back home past 11:30 or 12 at night.