During their heyday, Deicide was an American death metal band whose first two albums earned high honors as being one of the top three best-selling albums of their genre during what was known as the SoundScan era. Forming in 1987, Deicide has since released ten albums over the years, including one titled ‘To Hell with God’ in 2011. The band, which has a history of producing blasphemous anti-Christian lyrics and stage performances, will tour the United States starting in October of 2013 – scheduled to appear in cities such as New York City and Springfield, Virginia.
The very name of the band Deicide is offensive, as it translates into the “the killing (or the killer) of a god,” which is a concept that has been used to refer to the crucifixion of Jesus. There is no doubt that the musicians strive to make a mockery of religion, and to oppose what it stands for. Every one of their albums represents a certain level of offensiveness that includes such titles as “Once Upon the Cross,” “Serpents of the Light,” “Scars of the Crucifix,” and “The Stench of Redemption.”
Because of their controversial, anti-Christian themes, the group has encountered plenty of protests, boycotts, and criticism over the years. The group has never made any apologies or excuses for the subjects of their music, as drummer Steve Ashiem flat out exclaimed at one time, “The whole point of Satanic music is to blaspheme against the Church.” Some of the statements that the group has made through their music, such as “Death to Jesus”, “F*ck Your God”, “Kill the Christian”, “Behead The Prophet,” and “Scars of the Crucifix” are nothing less than disturbing.
In the past, the group hit new controversial heights when their frontman Glen Benton started to make increasingly crazy statements, and continued to shock the public with his interview responses. He also had an inverted crucifix branded into his forehead on more than one occasion. It didn’t make matters any better that Benton (at one time) claimed that he believed in demonic possession, and that he was possessed himself. In the early 1990s, the singer also claimed that he would take his own life when he turned 33 years old as a way to “mirror a lifespan opposite that of Jesus Christ.” When the time came and passed when he reached 33 years of age in 2000, Benton did not commit suicide, and instead, dismissed his earlier statements, saying that “only cowards and losers” would choose suicide.
This is probably one of the reasons why over time, the public and other band members would dismiss Benton’s claims and statements as being untrue, as well as a ploy to drum up sensationalist attention.
In the past, Deicide has also been guilty of using the practice of backmasking in their music – a technique that involves inserting hidden messages, phrases or words into music that can only be heard when played in reverse. In the song, “Satan Spawn, the Caco-Daemon,” the beginning of the track incorporates the sound of bleating sheep, and using the technique to include “Satan spawn, cacodaemon, cacodaemon, cacodaemon, Satan spawn, cacodaemon, cacodaemon, cacodaemon.” A cacodemon (or cacodaemon) translates into an evil spirit or demon.
Over the course of the band’s history, attempts have also been made to quiet and ban Deicide. Several venues across the world had not permitted the band to play. One such incident took place in Chile, where the people did not take too kindly to seeing a promotional poster for the group showing Jesus with a bullet hole in his forehead. Festivals have also turned the band away, such as Hellfest, which made the decision after a handful of graves had been spray-painted with “When Satan Rules His World” – a song that appeared on one of the group’s albums. A music video for “Homage for Satan,” which depicts zombies in search of a priest, was additionally banned by a TV channel in the U.K. called Scuzz.
It will be interesting to see how a newer generation of music listeners in the U.S. will embrace or discredit Diecide during their upcoming tour.