DELIVERANCE - AS ABOVE~SO BELOW (*NEW-CD, 2019, Retroactive Records)
Title: As Above~So Below (Retroarchives Edition)
Label: Retroactive Records
Product ID: RRCD1485
Format: CD, 4 panel jewel case, new cover
Release Date: March 26th, 2019
ABOUT THE ALBUM
This 2019 CD reissue features all new artwork (thank you, Scott Waters of NoLifeTil Metal) that reflects singer, Jimmy Brown’s original vision for the original release but was never accomplished. The mastering of the reissue is the same as the original 2007 release (it was so good, there was no need to change it).
Since their thrashing 1989 debut, Deliverance has been breaking new ground wherever and whenever they decide to make their metal presence known. The video for “Weapons of Our Warfare” was the first Christian video to ever get airplay on Headbanger’s Ball. And, when the band stepped away from speed metal and thrash in favor of progressive metal in the mid 90’s, they ascended to musical and artistic brilliance without peers. From the very beginning, Deliverance enjoyed both commercial and critical success that allowed them to dominate the Christian market as the most distinguished heavy metal band on the scene, period. Over a decade of aggressive touring, exposure in the mainstream markets, and 12 albums later, Deliverance continues to hold icon status among legions of metal enthusiasts world-wide.
In spite of years of rumor-filled message boards and relentless requests from fans, this is the first new Deliverance album from vocalist Jimmy Brown and company since 2001. Never has Retroactive Records been privileged to release an album met with such fan appreciation and unbridled anticipation! Jimmy knew how high fan expectations would be for a new release, and has worked relentlessly with the band for over a year to deliver Retroactive Records an album that would not only delight, but astound fans….an album that would hold up under the most scrutinizing fan critique. Jimmy’s goal was to create the greatest Deliverance record of all-time; a culmination of a brilliant career, while continuing to break new ground.
As Above ~ So Below is a prayer that things would be on earth, as they are in heaven. Musically, this 13th album represents a unilateral step forward in the heavy music genre; few groups have ever blended epic thrash / speed metal with the elegance and beauty of progressive metal (later period Deliverance) with such devastating skill and brutality. Never has a Deliverance album alternated so many moments of beauty (e.g.The Omen inspired opening track) with beastly moments of metallic fury and spine snapping riffs that would seem right at home on a Slayer, Believer, or early Deliverance album.
The end result is one of the heaviest Deliverance albums yet. Jimmy continues to deliver vocal melodies that are as commanding as a thundering voice from above. What no one could have anticipated is that the band would deliver one of the most enormous-sounding metal records ever made. In our minds, it seems like the album is a piece of heaven here on earth, which, ironically means that the album is an answer to it’s own prayer!
Big D. One of the forefathers of the christian thrash/speed movement are finally back after, what, six years? This one delves back into the Stay of Execution/Learn years with just a hint of the thrash that they are still so fondly remembered for on their fist two albums. Seems Jimmy Brown, who is the machine driving D, just doesn't want to play speed demon anymore. Vocally, it's a little more gritty then his latter work but the Bowie influence is still the biggest factor and again it works very well with the style overall. Always able to find good rhythm players to back his riff monster outings the sound here is a sort of progressive/light thrash metal.
Lyrically it's kind of all over, addressing skeptics of Christianity, personal pleas to be more like Him above, and what sounds like a bite at those who use religion for personal gain. The lyrics show as much change and growth as the music from the first two albums. D started with just blatant and often direct quotes from the Bible to more allegory and introspection, yet their is really no question where they stand and hope is shining through.
I highly recommend this for any lover of metal in a progressive fashion. If it was any more technical and a little faster it would start moving into the Nevermore range. I love it and give it 4.5 stars as I really would like a song or two of just outright speed as in the old days.
1 Legum Servi Sumus Ut Liberi Esse Possimus (Intro) 3:39
2 Cause & Effect 4:03
3 Return To Form 4:05
4 As Above - So Below 4:46
5 Screaming 4:33
6 Should We Cross Paths 4:02
7 Contempt 4:02
8 Thistles 11:21
9 My Love 4:59
10 Enlightened 5:32
Bass Guitar [Bass Gtr] – Tim Kronyak
Drums – Kevin Lee (tracks: 2, 6, 7), Mike Reed (10)
Executive-Producer – Matthew Hunt
Keyboards [Live], Backing Vocals [Live Bckg Vox], Producer [Vocal Production] – Corin Jae Scott
Mastered By [Digitally Mastered By] – Rob Colwell
Mixed By, Producer, Vocals [Vox], Guitar [Gtr], Written-By, Arranged By, Directed By, Producer [Vocal Production] – Jimmy P. Brown II
Producer, Lead Guitar [Lead Gtr], Rhythm Guitar [Rhythm Gtr], Written-By, Arranged By, Directed By – Mike Phillips