Deliverance-Hear What I Say!
Roxx Records/3 Frogz Records
A lot of ink has been spilled over the Christian metal band Deliverance since they first came into existence back in 1985. Founded by vocalist/guitarist, and sole original member (!), Jimmy P. Brown (whose vocals,incidentally, are still as powerful as always even after all these years!), Deliverance's first two albums, which can be found as a two on one CD these days if memory serves me correct, are nothing short of classics. Those two albums, "Deliverance" and "Weapons of Our Warfare" (released in 1989 and 1990 respectively) are everything that speed metal/thrash should be. If you've never heard either then I would strongly urge you to check them out as album number one should easily appeal to fans of Death Angel and Hirax while the group's sophomore release showed an appreciation for groups like Metallica, Megadeth and even Slayer! I was actually my teenage daughters age when I first discovered the group's "Weapons of Our Warfare" on cassette tape and subsequently saw them play live with Sacrament at the Aurora Library. Back then I was a lost teenager looking for the light, any light really, at the (supposed) end of a very dark tunnel. Thankfully that's not entirely who am now and as far as my own 15 year old? Well, I see her and I see a girl with more conviction and passion then I ever had at that age. But, that's another story for another time as we're hear to talk about this group's latest release right? With this serving as their (reported) final album what exactly can fans expect when "Hear What I Say!" drops on December 10th? Well, while the album's unnecessary intro, "Liber 111", isn't something I'd go rushing to stop the presses over (in other words it doesn't really build any sense of climax) that all changes once "The Annals of Subterfuge" kicks in. Having previously heard the demo version of this song on the "Thrashmageddon" compilation I was anxious to hear how it sounded in full, all guns blazing, living color. Needless to say it did not disappoint! Michael Phillips (also of The Sacrificed, Join The Dead) plays lead guitars on "Hear What I Say!" just as he did on the group's last studio-release, 2007's "As Above - So Below" and man if he doesn't make the album version of "The Annals of Subterfuge" sound killer then I just don't know what qualifies as "killer" anymore! At about 2:45 or so into "Angst" (the third track on this release after the intro and "The Annals of Subterfuge") things gets epic thanks to his lead skills and from that point on, except for one misstep (which I'll soon enough address), there seems to be no stopping this bunch as they keep the positive energy flowing this ten track release! Manny Morales, who seems as if he has played with Deliverance on and off since 1993's "Learn", joins in on the fun of "Hear What I Say!" as does veteran drummer Jayson Sherlock (Mortification, Horde, Revulsed). If this truly is set to be Deliverance's last studio-album then at least they gave it their all and are going out of top! Heavier cuts like "Detox", which is like a N.W.O.B.H.M.-embracing Pantera trying to corner the market on all things Megaedth, "Nude" and the speed metal-tinged "Passing"' all showcase a band that seems strong and confident. Interestingly enough then some of "Hear What I Say!" sounds as if it is written from a very personal place. "Hope Lies Beyond" comes off as quite reflective as does "Nude" and "A Perfect Sky". It must be said though that when it comes to "A Perfect Sky", while it's a fine song in it's own right and all, it really sticks out like a sore thumb on this release as it's most straight=ahead rock and roll then anything else. I'm not sure what was going on there. At least Jimmy Brown and company chose to follow it up with a solid cover of Iron Maiden's "Where Eagles Dare". The album ends on a good note with a German version of the track "Detox" called "Entgiftung". So, album number ten features ten tracks in all (well, nine I guess as the intro isn't much to write home about) and other then maybe "A Perfect Sky" it's most certainly a nice goodbye letter to fans. For a group that has had a few hiccups along the way (I'm looking at you "What A Joke"!) and had been criticized for being a Metallica clone ("Weapons of Our Warfare") this release should silence some of the critics and doubters. Diehard fans will likely come away happy although I do wish there was a bit more to this release as far as the actual material goes. I would have loved to had more tracks like "Detox, "Angst" and "Passing" from Jimmy Brown and Deliverance as that might have really cemented this one as a thrash metal classic. But, it is what it is and at the end of the day "Hear What I Say!" is a fine collection of metal tracks with quite a bit of variety (style-wise) and more then enough emotional depth to make you really think about what you're digesting. Iff this is the last dance for Deliverance then let me be the first to thank them for all they did for the Christian metal community and wish them nothing but the best as they move on.
So pick up a copy of "Hear What I Say!" from either:
www.3frogzstudio.com or www.roxxproductions.com
www.3frogzstudio.com or www.roxxproductions.com