Deliverance returns with a thrashy vengeance and not only their first new album in almost five years but also a reunion of Glenn Rogers and Jimmy P. Brown for the first time since their debut 1989 album.
Deliverance is a name well-known within the Christian metal community. Dating back to 1985, the band has released 11 albums and been on a host of other compilations. Many first became familiar with Deliverance with their 1990 release Weapons of Our Warfare with the title track gaining airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball , and the album selling over 100,000 copies, leading many to label it the Master of Puppets for Christian metal. As often happens, lineups changes and by the fourth album in 1992, Stay of Execution, the band had their second guitarist change and Jimmy P. Brown took the band in a more progressive direction, tired of being known as the Christian Metallica clones. Changes in sound would continue with the band shifting to industrial for Assimilation in 2000 and then taking another hiatus before releasing As Above, So Below in 2007, which was followed by yet another hiatus until 2010. In 2011, the band announced they would play a final show later that year, but as before, situations changed and the band reformed with George Ochoa on guitars, former drummer Jim Chaffin, and bassist Victor Macias to play Exodo Fest in Mexico with Grave Robber and Silent Planet. 2017 saw the re-release of their 1989 debut and Weapons of Our Warfare and the return of original guitarist Glenn Rodgers. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, The Subversive Kind was recorded and features performances from Victor Macias (Tourniquet) on bass, Greg Minier on guitars and Jim Chaffin on drums. The album was produced by Jimmy P. Brown and Jim Chaffin and was recorded and mixed at 3 Frogz Studios and Valhalla Studio with mastering by Rob Colwell at Bombworks Sound.
Early into the opening track, “Bring ‘Em Down”, the direction of this album is clear, Deliverance is returning to their thrash roots. I’ve seen others quote Jimmy P. Brown likening this album to Slayer’s Reign in Blood from 1986 and I can agree with that. You have the slower opening, some angry vocals, and then as the song builds, you have fast double bass and rapid fire drumming moving things along in time with a fast riff. Add in a break partway through followed by every part of the song going into overdrive and you get the idea of what is to come. With respect to the comparisons to older Slayer, I would say that Jimmy P. Brown’s vocal style is similar in some respects but the delivery is clearer. Given the style and tone of the songs, the vocals need to have that imposing, in your face, feel to them and Jimmy P. Brown certainly conveys that, especially in songs like the more melodic “Epilogue” where his vocals take on an even more commanding tone than in some of the other songs. Actually at times when the pace slows a bit, Brown’s vocals are delivered in such a way that they wouldn’t be out of place on an old-school hardcore album, which is a cool touch.
“Concept of the Other” wastes no time in jumping right into the fast riffs and drums but breaks up the potential monotony with short near breakdown like interludes between verses that will sound very familiar to thrash fans. The same can be said for “The Subversive Kind” but that song adds in a short guitar solo in the intro section as well as some gang vocals on the chorus, which is a bit of a different touch. “The Fold” shows Jimmy P. Brown almost take a singing tone in some of the verse sections which is a bit unexpected for thrash purists and this song in particular really highlights the drumming of Jim Chaffin whose rapid fire pace and great fills really add a great touch to the song. In fact, once you notice Chaffin’s drum work, it’s hard not to hear it in all the songs as it is that good and vital to the overall sound. Of course, guitars are really what most come to hear with thrash and the riffs are fast and varied to avoid monotony, and the solos featuring contributions by Greg Minier fit well within the songs and live up to expectations for the genre.
“Black Hand”, the first video released from the album, begins with a great bass line that keeps the listener guessing about how the song is going to go and in that regard was a great one to debut as it will catch some off guard. Brown’s delivery on this song is more Tom Araya-like than on other tracks and the song in general has more of that Slayer feel than others on the album. As with the other songs, there is also the solid guitarwork and rhythm section expertly mixed to keep everything clear in the mix but also letting it blend together.
Fans of thrash and old Deliverance will feel instantly at home with this release and it fits in nicely with the great thrash releases of 2017 by freaKINGS, Hand of Fire, and Adorned Graves. Deliverance is back.
Written by John Jackson
1. Bring ‘Em Down
2. Concept of the Other
3. Center of it All
4. The Black Hand
6. Listen Closely
7. The Subversive Kind
8. The Fold
Jimmy P. Brown II – rhythm guitar, lead vocals
Glenn Rogers – lead guitar
Jim Chaffin– drums
Victor Macias – bass.
“Greetings of Death” demo (1985)
“Weapons Of Our Warfare” (1990)
“What A Joke” (1991)
“Stay of Execution” (1992)
“Intense Live Series Vol. 1” EP (1993)
“A Decade of Deliverance” (1994)
“River Disturbance” (1994)
“Camelot In Smithereens” (1995)
“Back In the Day: The First Four Years” (2000)
“Greetings Of Death, Etc.” (2001)
“Live At Cornerstone 2001” (2001)
“As Above, So Below” (2007)
“Hear What I Say!” (2013) review
“The Subversive Kind” (2018)
Record Label: Roxx Records/3 Frogz Records, Feb. 2018
Lyric video for ‘The Black Hand’