Jimmy Brown was right, this is their Reign in Blood.
For the uninitiated or those not familiar with the seminal Slayer album, the new (11th) Deliverance album, The Subversive Kind, sounds like it belongs in the first canon of this pioneering Christian speed/thrash band (that being the self-titled debut, Weapons of our Warfare and What a Joke). Almost more tough-guy thrash than speed metal, this is definitely not your Geoff Tate conjures David Bowie and fronts Deliverance variety tuneage (a la Stay of Execution, Learn, River Disturbance and pretty much everything after). This is straight-up, get-the-lead-out heavy thrash metal. While the riffs and chops are heavy, tight and fast, they’re not electric drill picking burns — thus one of the subtle differences between speed metal and thrash. The vocals are angry, as if being spit out by a microphone lower than the chin of the singer, glaring at the swirling crowd at high velocity.
“Bring ‘Em Down” starts things off and, as with “Concept of the Other,” the band wastes no time with long, extended intros. They jump into the bloodbath with mean, urgent vocals. “Center of it All” takes a whole 9 seconds before Brown starts delivering his rat-a-tat-a-tat snare-like vocals. “The Black Hand” sounds the most like the first album, with almost 50 seconds of guitar tones and a wailing little lead before the yelling commences. Midway through, one hears a little bit of Brown’s vocal histrionics. Then there’s the fiery string-bending solo trade-offs. Jim Chaffin’s drumming is fast ‘n’ furious as well. If that’s Victor Macias on bass (or Manny Morales), the playing is as tight and in the pocket as possible. This is a throwback and a pushback. It’s fighting music!
It’s so stinkin’ tough and tight that metalheads can’t help but love it. Move over, Big 4, Deliverance just sent a missile over the bow.
Now, no one’s declaring war between the kings of thrash, but if there was a competition, it just got a lot hotter in the studio. If I was Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax or Megadeth, I’d listen closely. Deliverance is leading the conversation at the moment, and for good reason. Once you’ve played through all 8 songs on this full-length, you’ll want to return for another run immediately. It’s that good.
—Review by Doug Van Pelt