Deliverance has created a long legacy of world class metal music. Many will choose to remember only their second release Weapons of Our Warfare as the bands musical highpoint. While Weapons is worthy of being remembered and honored to call it their sole watermark would be to do their entire catalog an injustice.
The depth and variety of material Jimmy P Brown and company have amassed over the years is quite amazing. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who was a fan had to enjoy or love every release but at least it had to be recognized that there was genius to their musical madness. Not to be boxed in or typecast as just a speed metal outfit, JPB often would make the distinction that Deliverance were SPEED METAL not a THRASH BAND.
The variety of heavy styles from albums such as River Disturbance or Stay of Execution and Assimilation is quite extraordinary. Not many artists have built up such a following while branching out into other styles of metal. When their fourth album Stay of Execution was released I was profoundly puzzled at the time, “What the blazes is this???” I considered myself a die hard fan but from that point I was lost. 2009 I had the opportunity to revisit (why so long? That is another story for another time!) I revisited a lot of the missed catalog and found gem after gem, my favorite being River Disturbance. Point being life changes and what moves us and reaches deep into our soul musically does as well.
So with that being said let’s focus on their recent albeit final release entitled Hear What I Say! If indeed this is the final Deliverance album than it’s an exceptional way to say goodbye to the loyal fan base. Is it heavy? Yes just as heavy as any of the previously mentioned albums without reservation.
Annals of Subterfuge pays complete homage the big D’s true speed metal period and an homage it is!! The drumming is some of the finest along a brilliant melody and riff package that just crushes ones senses into pulp. Speed metal at its finest!! Angst delivers a strong Testament’esque feel with a fabulous groove until a brilliant side step break hits and I can see the windmills and headbangers going berserk!!
Hope Lies Beyond is an epic song that soars above the clouds with a memorable melody. The lead guitar work of Mike Phillips is wonderful. This track is a mood piece that relishes in its dynamics and Jimmy pours out his heart. However I found that the following song being the albums musical apex, Detox is a butt kicking track that thrives on its own violence. The riff is sheer 90’s brilliance and as it devolves into a Marilyn Manson or Rammstein like romp that digs into your brain and will have you hitting replay for YEARS to come!
Nude starts with some excellent rhythmic percussion from Jayson Sherlock and drives this sledgehammer full speed ahead. No it’s not a speed metal song, but the force of this composition with its multi layered arrangements (straight out of River or Camelot) is pure 70’s worship. Passing delves into a full tilt metal song that would’ve been comfortable on their previous release As Above So Below or even Stay of Execution.
A Perfect Sky is a pure acoustic track that maintains the feel and passion of every album released before (except perhaps Assimilation). A pseudo old school Queensryche feel emanates as a point of reference but this track is pure Deliverance. Thank you JPB II.
Where Eagles Dare is a cover of the 1983 track from Iron Maiden’s Piece of Mind and a great cover it is. The musicianship is superb and is a perfect tribute to perhaps the most influential heavy metal band of all time. The lyrics are based on the thriller staring Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton. One of my favorite Maiden tracks ever and this version is exceptional. Brutal guitars and head smashing drums that should make Maiden proud.
I really found that the production elements are very strong, the guitar tones are brutal and the drums sound fabulous. The vocals are processed but the effect works perfectly. Jimmy’s vocal is still strong and is not hampered by this processing.
As a quick aside if anyone complains that this album isn’t “heavy enough for them” please just take your pouty lip and go home!! Certainly everyone is entitled to their opinion but not to point of ad nauseum. Not every old school D track was a barn burner, even many of their heavier songs were mid tempo (Slay The Wicked or 23 come immediately to mind). This album reeks of world class songwriting. Not simply a rehash of what came before but a culmination of a career without parody.
Hear What I Say! Is one of the best albums released this year. Fans of heavy metal will want to grab this one. Leather jackets aren’t optional and neither is the heartfelt appreciation that this writer has for Deliverance and their willingness to allow us on their journey through life. Roxx Records has a monster on its hands! This album is nearly a 10…… 9.5 axes……
9.5 axes (9 axes posted... i don't know how to put a 1/2 guitar!)