Originally written by Erik Thomas
Good lord, I haven’t heard these guys since their 1992 debut The Dying Truth, which I subsequently sold or traded. (If anyone has an extra copy feel free to hit me up.) But of all the much ballyhooed reunions and comebacks that have occurred in the realms of death metal over the last few years, here’s a nicely underground, underrated one that real old-school, die-hard fans will enjoy. Technically though, the band never really broke up; they more or less go into hibernation for a few years and then they release an album. Thusly, Cianide is hardly prolific — only 6 albums since 1990 — and this is their first album since 2005’s Hell’s Rebirth.
If there was a band that really summed up the early Chicago death metal sound, it was Master, closely followed by Cianide (sorry, Broken Hope): dirty, grimy, crusty and played by bearded, burly hairy dudes. And Cianide came around at a time when most US death metal acts where taking the Floridian approach and injected a slower, earthy, doomy sound that was somewhat overlooked back in 1992.
Now, I can’t compare Gods of Death to A Descent into Hell, Doom Death and Destruction, Divide and Conquer or Hell’s Rebirth, but I’ll go out on a limb and assume these stalwarts never took any sort of stylistic tangent over the last 15 years and Gods of War continues the band’s stubbornly old school sound: A mid-paced, crusty assault of d-beat trots and bulldozing, sludgy doom crawls that reeks of the likes of Autopsy, Master/Death Strike, Hellhammer and early Obituary, but filthed- and doomed-up. There’s very few blast beats, no triggered drums or sweeps, just an unspectacular-but-effective primal, steady rumble. Fans of Bolt Thrower or Jungle Rot will be right at home.
For the most part, the 8 tracks (now that’s old school right there) lope and lurch with a determined, unshakeable pace, with throaty, gruff growls, and a few injections of piecemeal urgency here and there (opener “Desecration Storm”, “Rising of the Beast”, “Idolator” “Terrorstrikes”). But Cianide has always been about slower-burning grooves and crawls and tracks like “Forsaken Doom”, “Dead and Rotting”, and “The One True Death”. That all being said, as much as I like the nostalgic rumbles of Gods of Death, I can’t say I’m craving them once the CD is over – maybe due to the Death Strike re-issue and the recent Bones CD filling my Chicago metal fix.