originally written by Pete Richards
I was a young man going through some of the best years of my life when I first heard about Cianide while reading a friend’s ‘zine called Corrosion. Death metal was going through what some would consider its peak in the early ‘90’s, and the underground scene was still fairly new to me. ‘Zines were printed on actual paper and we communicated with worldwide metalheads through something called the Post Office. I had begun high school and was still at that age between child and adulthood where my innocence had not yet been corrupted by the world’s reality.
These Chicago death metal purists had put out a disc called The Dying Truth on Grind Core International, a metal label also based out of Illinois that released an early album by fellow Chicago monsters Broken Hope. While I had never been a huge fan of Cianide, and they never signed to a large metal label or got to the point of gaining huge popularity, it is amazing that this great band is still together and playing for their love of death metal.
Forming in 1988, the almighty Cianide are back with another full-length album to add to their discography. Although I haven’t heard all of their previous releases, Hell’s Rebirth is probably the best Cianide I’ve heard yet, as this band seems to only improve their craft with age. While technicality and intricacy with topnotch production seems to be all the rage in 2005, Cianide are masters of keeping things raw, simple and fairly catchy, remaining true to the old school American style they have always played. Their dirty, chugging death metal is mostly mid-paced but is broken up by some insane fast picking guitar work and intense blast-beating to keep things nice and brutal. Their catchy, mid-tempo hooks and very memorable riffs are Cianide’s best qualities, proving the band knows how to write memorable songs that will have one humming the tune afterward. Even faster tracks like “World Abyss” and the greatly titled “Death Metal Maniac” can be very catchy due to their infectious riffing.
Their style is most reminiscent of older generation death bands such as classics Master and Hellhammer, which the band is often compared to, but to me their guttural chugging style is reminiscent of fellow Chicagoans Broken Hope, without the gore influence.
Hell’s Rebirth is nine new tracks of good and pure death metal as one would expect from Cianide. The band also does a great cover of Death’s “Infernal Death” off 1987’s Scream Bloody Gore as a bonus track.
Just pure, no frills death metal the way it was intended to be played and this album will stay in my collection.