The self-titled debut by Deliverance is one of the best speed metal albums ever released! I bought it as a new release in 89' and it still frequents my CD player over a decade later. It was around this time (1989) when I was searching for some good Christian metal. I bought this disc on the advice of the clerk at the record store I went to. When I got home the first thing I thought was, "Wow, these guys sound a bit like Death Angel." I played this disc so much that year that I could probably have sang any of the songs on it at a moments notice. Some of my favorites are album opener "Victory," the awesome classic "No Time," and speed metal classic "Deliverance," which features a soaring vocal performance by Jimmy Brown. The album was produced by legendary metal producer Bill Metoyer. This is just a solid album from beginning to end. My Intense Records CD cover is autographed by Glenn Rogers and Jimmmy Brown.
Unfortunately the original Intense Records version of this disc went out of print a decade ago. KMG attempted a cheesy reissue in the 90's, but cut corners and left some songs off the reissue. Fortunately in 2008 Retroactive gained the rights to this album, as well as "Weapons of our Warfare" and was able to put out a proper reissue. The Retroactive version has improved sound over the original release with better mastering that helps bring out the crunchy guitar tones and pounding double bass. Retroactive Records has always been good about giving extra value on their releases. This time around, they have included the two Deliverance tracks from the California Metal compilation. "A Space Called You" shows that Deliverance's roots were in classic heavy metal. This song is a melodic classic metal number, with only a hint of the speed metal that would come. However, "Attack" is a full-throttle thrasher that is a standout in the Deliverance catalog. The band later re-recorded this song on their "What A Joke" album.
The Retroactive Records re-release also contains new enhanced artwork that was inspired by the original artwork, classic band photos, additional liner notes and lyrics. A short write-up about the two Deliverance releases written by myself is included in the tray art. This 2008 reissue is a worth addition to any metal or thrash fans collection, even if you already have the original. Had the Retroactive re-issue signed by Brian Khairullah and Jimmy Brown when I saw them perform at Up From the Ashes III in Temecula, CA (8.28.10) with Jupiter 6.
Deliverance were at their absolute best here. "Weapons of our Warfare" is a speed metal classic that is unbeaten by any other Deliverance album! Former Recon guitarist George Ochoa joins the ranks and adds a bit of his own flavor to this disc. George actually had joined the band shortly after the release of the band's debut and toured with Deliverance in support of that album. Almost every track on this disc is played with a fast and furious attitude and the song writing is outstanding. Songs like "Slay the Wicked" are absolutely fierce. Jimmy Brown proving that he can sing, and scream, with the best of the power metal or speed metal genre. My personal favorite songs are "This Present Darkness," "Flesh & Blood," "Slay the Wicked" and "Greetings of Death". "Greetings of Death" is a song that was re-recorded from the band's 1986 demo tape of the same name. "23" is another favorite track, although this song is a melodic, powerful, worship ballad offered up to Jehovah. Lyrically, there is a spiritual warfare theme that runs throughout this disc, but I would not say that this is a concept album. I have heard the band complain about this disc saying they weren't happy with the guitar sounds they achieved in the studio. From a fan perspective, however, I really don't see the problem. Perhaps with a bigger budget a fatter guitar sound could have been had, but for the most part this has never been an issue for me. The guitars are crunchy and heavy, like you would expect from a speed metal release.
Unfortunately the original Intense Records version of this disc went out of print a decade ago. KMG attempted a cheesy reissue in the 90's, but cut corners with poor packaging and mastering. Fortunately in 2008 Retroactive gained the rights to this album, as well as "Deliverance" and was able to put out a proper reissue. The Retroactive version has improved sound over the original release with proper mastering that helps improve the overall sound. This reissue also contains the bonus track "Rescue" which was originally recorded during the "Weapons of our Warfare" studio sessions, but was left off as guitarist George Ochoa felt that it didn't really fit on the album. Frankly, he was probably right, but it's still nice to have it as part of this reissue. The song was also released on the "Decade of Deliverance" compilation, but that disc is out of print as well.
The cover has been changed from the original. The new artwork was inspired by the original illustration. There are things I like better about the new cover, and things I don't like. Overall, the new cover is quite nice and an improvement over the original. However, the angel is a bit wimpy on this cover as compared to the muscle bound, angelic warrior on the original. The insert also contains lyrics, a vintage band photo from this era of the band and additional liner notes. A short write-up about the two Deliverance releases written by myself is included in the tray art. This 2008 reissue is a worth addition to any metal or thrash fans collection, even if you already have the original.
"What A Joke" was the third album for Southern California thrashers Deliverance and, other than main-main Jimmy Brown, featured a completely different line-up than the band's debut. Former Recon guitarist George Ochoa had taken over for Glenn Rogers prior to the band's last album and Recon bassist Mike Grato took over bass duties for this record. As well, new skin pounder Kevin Lee took over for longtime drummer Chris Hyde.
Saw Deliverance on this tour in Albuquerque, NM with The Moshketeers. I had my copy of "What A Joke" autographed by Jimmy Brown (guitars/vocals), George Ochoa (guitars), Mike Grato (bass) and Kevin Lee (drums).
Deliverance - Intense Live Series Vol. 1 (Intense) 1993
Cool little live EP series that also featured Tourniquet, Mortal, Die Happy, and Rose. I still wish Vengeance Rising and Mortification would have done one of these. D's contribution shows their sense of humor and features some studio mistakes that were intentionally left in. "The Call" features an extended guitar solo by Mike Phillips. As with all the discs in this series, each band did a cover tune. Deliverance chose "Surrender" by Stryper and pulled it off rather well.
I remember fans of the band were disappointed with this album when it first came out. While "Stay of Execution" was a change in style from the band's earlier speed metal platters, it still had the metallic sheen and the speed in parts. "Learn" is a different story. The music is slower than all Deliverance's previous discs, with some obvious influences-David Bowie, Queensryche, Black Sabbath and producer Terry Taylor. (note I said influences, this album doesn't really sound exactly like any of those bands.) Once again the guitars are out front in the mix, with the bass guitar a bit buried. However, it has always been the guitar riffs and the vocals that have impressed me. When this disc came out it dominated my CD player for quite some time. So, while it is an obvious progression in sound, it still sounds like "D" and it still very enjoyable. The Terry Taylor cover "Sanctuary" is one of my all time favorite songs of any band. However, there are several standout cuts on this one. I also love the lyrics on this disc, which are a bit more poetic and personal than on the first three albums. Poor cover art! I paid full price for this one when it came out. Loved it then, love it now, although not a frequent player. When I go to my Deliverance collection I tend to pull out "Weapons" or "Deliverance" before I pull out this one.
1. "Belltown" (4:39)
"River Disturbance" was released in 1994 in a time when heavy metal was fast becoming a dirty word. Jimmy Brown and his band had long since moved away from the thrash and speed metal sound of their early releases. With "Learn" and "Stay of Exection" the band had started moving into a more melodic and groove oriented direction. However, with "River Disturbance", Deliverance almost sounded like a completely different band. There were still heavy songs with that monster guitar tone, such as "Belltown". However, there is a piano ballad title "You Still Smile" and even a rap/rock song with rappers 12th Tribe. Jimmy P. Brown was certainly experimenting with the sound of the band at the time and many fans freaked! Reviews were terrible. I think another thing fans didn't like about the album was the band's look, as they had cut their hair and dressed in suits. I must confess, having been a Deliverance fan since the "Greetings of Death" demo and the California Metal tracks, this threw me for a curve. Still, I never let the band's look get in the way of the music. I loved it then and still do. I said it in my initial review of "River Disturbance" and it deserves repeating, River Disturbance is "THE most underrated big D album!" Every song has a hook. Every song has heart. Even the ballad is heartfelt and not corny in the slightest.
In 2007 Retroactive Records finally re-released the long out of print "River Disturbance" complete with new cover art, updated mastering and several bonus tracks. First of all, the new cover art and layout are far, far superior to the original and fits the music much better. Also, the band photos have been deleted in favor of photos of the band members in monks robs. While it's obviously a bit of Photoshop wizardry, it's still very cool looking. The 8-page full color booklet also includes all the lyrics to the original nine album tracks. Three bonus tracks have been added to the CD. The first is a demo track that was recorded for the album but was not included on the album. "On the Fritz" is a very cool Steve Taylor cover that was originally released on a tribute titled "I Predict a Clone". The last song is an industrial, keyboard/synth heavy remix of "Belltown".
The final track on the disc is a lengthy dialog from Jimmy P. Brown about the album and what was going through his head at the time of recording this record. While this will not be something most fans will listen to more than once or twice, it is a nice addition to the end of the CD and gives a lot insight into the record and how and why it was recorded. One thing I found interesting in the dialog was when Jimmy was quoting reviews off the internet about the album and he quoted my site. Very cool.
Deliverance - A Decade of Deliverance (Intense) 1995
A "best of" compilation from the first five Deliverance releases. What's nice about the package is that it is in chronological order, features song by song liner notes by Jimmy Brown, has cool photos, included a discography, and features a lot of early material. It also includes an unreleased track from the "Weapons" sessions called "Rescue," which is a semi-melodic speed metal number. The bad things about this CD are: they left off "What a Joke," and they goofed up the discography. Other than that, this is a good compilation.
Deliverance - Camelot in Smithereens (Intense) 1995
Theme (Where Are You)" (5:54)
This disc flopped big time and was the worst selling Deliverance disc of their entire catalogue. Too band 'cause it's a good melodic metal disc. Bought it new but now it's pretty easy to find in the cut out bins. Apparently the disc was named with the intention that it would be the last 'D' album, but of course, God had other plans. In anycase, I really enjoy this disc. It has the melody of "River Disturbance" but the crunch and aggressiveness of 'Learn' or 'Stay'. Take a listen to "Lindsey" or "Book Ends" and see if they don't send chills down your spine, like they did mine. They are both so stinkin' heavy! The bridge in the middle of "Book Ends" is quite cool. The chunky rhythm along with some choice guitar solos had me hooked. I think this might be my favorite song off this particular disc. Then there are songs like the haunting "Anymore" that are more laid back and somber. Also of note was the killer cover of David Bowie's "Beauty & the Beast". Certainly Deliverance took some liberties with this track and made it sound like their own song. Once again, I don't know why this disc sold so poorly. I guess it just wasn't heavy enough for all the death metal heads out there and all those who were into the less brutal styles of metal were off listening to their Pearl Jam and Nirvana CDs. Their loss.
There are two possible ways to look at this CD If you are a VERY dedicated Deliverance fan and have to own everything they ever did, then I suppose that this disc could be considered a treasure as there is a large amount of unreleased material. The other way to look at it is, this is just a way to milk money out of fans using the Deliverance name. This is a documentary of sorts, with Jimmy Brown narrating through the first four "unsigned" years of Deliverance. The sound quality is so poor at times that it is unlistenable in my opinion. Some of the material is just boom box recordings. The demo material is very rough. The live material is even worse. What I was expecting when I purchased this disc was songs from the excellent "Greetings of Death" demo and some other early material, perhaps even the obscure material off the "California Metal" compilation. I'm not sure why but Jimmy Brown decided it was better to put on rough mixes of these obscure songs ("Attack" and "A Space Called You,") instead of the final mix versions that appeared on the compilation. The chorus to "Hold On Tightly" sounds a lot like "Surrender" by Stryper. I guess this is more of a collector's disc than anything else, either that or it's just a disc for suckers. Hmmm, well, I suppose that would make me the sucker. Originally released in 2000 on M8 Records. Re-released in 2007 with new artwork. The music is also 'remastered' but to be honest, it doesn't help the raw recordings all that much.
Now, this is a nice addition to my Deliverance collection, unlike the "Back in the Day" CD. I owned a copy of the 1986 Greetings of Death demo tape for years. I played it so much that it started squealing. So, it's nice to finally have these songs on CD Add to that the two California Metal tracks, some "Weapons" pre-production demos and an interview and you have one fine collectors disc. Only thing missing is the original demo cover art. Too bad they didn't decide to use it, or at least include it in the cover somewhere. The liner notes includes some thoughts from Jimmy Brown on each demo. I should also mention that the song "Speckled Bird" is a goofy (on purpose) country song.
Originally released on CD in 2001 on M8 Records, Retroactive re-issued this CD in 2007 with superior artwork. The cover art is similar to the original, but replaces the cartoony logo with the Deliverance logo. Also, the graphics and text throughout are improved. As well, the music has been remastered.
Well, after several years of rumors of a reformation, in 2001 we finally get a new disc from Jimmy Brown, Manny Morales, and a host of new members. Being a "D" fan since their early demo days, I bought this the day it became available. Right off the bat I noted that the cover art was very cool, perhaps one of their best since "Weapons of Our Warfare." The illustration of the old Deliverance "iron cross" breaking away and giving way to a shiny new Deliverance cross is a tell tale story of what to expect in the music. The sticker on the front of the disc (put on by the store) stated that this was "heavy progressive metal with industrial influences." Upon first listen I would agree with the label, but would be lying if I did not admit I was more than disappointed. There is no more speed, no more aggression, no more killer riffs, no shredding guitar solos, no double bass. Argh! Picture a mixture of mid-paced "River of Disturbance" and "Camelot in Smithereens" with some electronica elements thrown in. What I was really hoping for was the Deliverance of old. Perhaps this was due to the rumors that Deliverance were "returning to their roots." I should have known that this rumor is usually never true. After getting over my initial disappointment however, I gave the discs several listens over the weeks in hopes of the music growing on me. I must say that it did a bit; it must have since I continued to play it. It's hard for a longtime fan to not compare the music to the discs that he cherishes, but if you can separate the band from their past then this disc can be an enjoyable listen. Believe me when I say though that this is a very different Deliverance. I think I'll go pop on some "Weapons of Our Warfare" and relive the glory days of Deliverance. My copy is autographed by Jimmy Brown (guitars/vocals) and Manny Morales (bass).
"Assimilation" was originally released in 2001 on the Indie Dream Records label. Unfortunately the label did little to promote this album and it was soon out of print and nearly impossible to find. In 2007 Retroactive Records repackaged "Assimilation" with an additional bonus disc of demo material. According to the liner notes, the demos were Jimmy Brown’s first venture into recording in his home using Pro Tools and his computer. The demo material sounds great. Usually when I think "demo", I think cheap, rough recordings. However, the fidelity on these tracks are excellent and well worth a listen for the "D" die-hard. The original album is included in it's entirety as well and is remastered. The cover of this re-release was altered from the original as well and now includes the old, classic Deliverance logo. I personally like the newer cover better. For those who don't have the original release, or for those die-hard Deliverance collectors, the Retroactive re-release is essential.
Deliverance - Live at Cornerstone 2001 (M8) 2001
1. "Weapons Intro"
Man this band has more 'collectors discs' that have come out in the past couple of years. This is like the third from M8 plus the band released their new disc 'Assimilation' only a few months before the release of this disc. Anyhow, this live release is a nice addition to the collection. Deliverance perform a variety of tracks from all their albums, with a noticeable exception to the new CD. Hmmm...I had heard they performed a few new songs at this show, so I am not sure if this is the entire set or not. The performance itself is tight and the band sounds alive and refreshed. Jimmy Brown's vocals are strong and sound as good as ever. Overall, an excellent live disc from Jimmy and Co. The only complaint I have is that this disc, as with the other Cornerstone 2001 releases in this series, has seriously cheap packaging with very little in the way of photos.
1. "Legum Servi Sumus
Ut Liberi Esse Possimus (Intro)" (3:39)
After six long years Deliverance return with their ninth full length studio release. "As Above - So Below" marks the return of guitar shredder Mike Phillips to the fold. His smokin' lead work is a blessed reunion in this fan's opinion. It's also noteworthy to mention that former drummer Kevin Lee makes a guest appearance on three tracks here as well. With "As Above", Deliverance move away from the electronic sounds of "Assimilation" and Jimmy Brown's Fearful Symmetry project and return to a guitar driven heavy metal sound. The album opens with "Legum Servi Sumus Ut Liberi Esse Possimus", an ominous, instrumental introduction that is a mix of keyboards and orchestration. This is sure to be the band's concert opening for any shows in support of "As Above-So Below". However, I also felt that this opening was the weak spot of the CD. It's a bit long, at nearly three and a half minutes. After hearing the CD all the way through the first couple times, I began to skip track one to get to the actual songs. The first track after the intro is "Cause & Effect", a heavy track with some speed metal influences blended in. I just can't see any longtime Deliverance fan not enjoying this song. This is Deliverance! Heavy as a loaded freight train running down the tracks. "Return to Form" is a scathing song and is probably my favorite song off this album. The song starts off with a chaotic, blistering guitar and drum assault that recalls Slayer before breaking into a heavy, fast paced song that sounds exactly like what I had hoped for from Deliverance. "Return to Form" also features a blistering guitar solo from guitarist Mike Phillips. The title track, "My Love" and "Enlighten Me" all deliver an abundance of melody, and have a sound that would have been at home on "Learn" or even the underrated "River Disturbance". "Screaming" is a somber, melodic number that also sounds like it could have been written for "River Disturbance". "My Love" is a fast paced speed metal number that should please fans of classic Deliverance. "As Above – So Below" even finds Deliverance composing a lengthy, eleven minute instrumental entitled "Thistles". This song mixes some heavy guitar jams with some more melancholy acoustic guitar and piano parts. Jimmy Brown's vocal approach on this album favors the soulful, gothic, David Bowie sound that he began using on albums like "Learn" and "River Disturbance". There are no high, soaring screams like on those early "D" platters. I've heard a few fans comment that they didn't think there were any hooks on the album. Those people would do well to listen again, as the hooks run deep and thick. However, "As Above - So Below" may take more than one listen to really begin to digest all that is going on. "As Above..." can best be described as a creative blending of all past "D" albums, sitting closer to the "Learn" and "River Disturbance" sound, than to the thrashier "Weapons" stuff. I think most long time Deliverance fans will enjoy this album, unless anyone was holding out for Weapons of our Warfare Part 2. Personally, I haven't been able to get this CD out of my player since purchasing it.
In visiting the various metal discussion boards, the title track seems to be causing some confusion. Deliverance have always promoted Christian ideals. The confusion seems to be due to the fact that the phrase "As above, so below" and "so mote it be" circulate throughout Wiccan, pagan and magical circles, as well as in Free Masonry. I believe Jimmy Brown is using some artist license here and isn't promoting anything pagan. In fact, the lyrics read almost like a Psalm. "Let the mountains shake and the rocks declare Your glory, As it is with You, so mote it be with me. Let the rivers run strong and all nature bow with humility, as it is with You, so mote it be with me." Inasmuch it seems to me that Jimmy is trying to echo the Psalmists and using the phrase 'so mote it be with me' as an artistic way of saying 'so must it be with me.'
My copy is autographed by gutiarist Mike Phillips and bassist Tim Kronyak when I shared the stage with them at Mike Phillips "Mirrors Within Mirrors" CD release party.
Deliverance were the subject of a tribute CD in which Deliverance themselves recorded a few songs. The first 100 pre-orders received two Deliverance guitar picks and the autographed alternative cover pictured above. The cover is signed by Jim Chaffin (drums), Michael Phillips (guitars), Brian Khairullah (bass), Tim Kronyak (bass) and Jimmy Brown (guitars/vocals). Full review here.
1. Liber III (Intro) (1:02)
2. The Annals Of Subterfuge (4:42)
3. Angst (4:08)
4. Hope Lies Beyond (4:44)
5. Detox (3:38)
6. Nude (4:29)
7. Passing (4:05)
8. A Perfect Sky (5:05)
9. Where Eagles Dare (6:02)
10. Entgiftung ('Detox' German Version) (3:38)
BONUS TRACK (on pre-release sampler only)
11. Hear What I Say! (Album Sampler) (8:06)
The Big D, as fans so affectionately call Deliverance, have finally delivered the long-awaited, much-anticipated new album "Hear What I Say!" The initial hype was the the album would feature members from the first album and was to be titled "The Annals of Subterfuge". Instead, the line-up consists of founder, guitarist, and vocalist Jimmy Brown, longtime guitarist Michael Phillips, longtime bassist Manny Morales and drummer Jayson Sherlock, formerly of Mortification and Parameacium. According to Brown this will be the last album for Deliverance.
"Hear What I Say!" has a little bit of everything pulling from the band's past. However the overall album might be a disappointment to anyone hoping for that reunion of the early Deliverance members, because this in not a straight-forward speed metal/thrash metal album like those early D albums. In fact, I'd say that "Hear What I Say" is a blending of "Stay of Execution", "Lean" and the wonderfully progressive "River Disturbance" and fits neatly against their last album "As Above, So Below". After a short opening, the albums first track is "The Annals of Subterfuge". This song was leaked in demo form on the 2013 Thrashmageddon CD. The song fits in nicely with the thrashers on that platter, as the song is heavy, fast and recalls the faster material on "Stay of Execution". Brown sings with a slight grit and a bit of snarl. Follow-up track "Angst" is another up-beat speed metal number. The song features a huge groove-based bridge in the middle of the song driven by a crunchy guitar tone and ending up with more stellar guitar-work from Phillips. The remainder of the album moves away from speed metal and becomes much more melodic and progressive. A song like "Hope Lies Beyond" definitely would have fit nicely on the more melodic "River Disturbance" album. Actually, the melodic "Nude" would also have fit on that album. "Detox" is a heavier groove based song while "Passing" are more straight-forward heavy metal songs. The band also pull off a smokin' cover of Iron Maiden's "Where Eagles Dare". The album ends with an acoustic number titled "A Perfect Sky", that is mostly just a guitar with Brown singing along. His vocals are solid throughout, staying mostly in the mid-range, Bowie-esque style and rarely in the rafters like some of the "Weapons" material.
Deliverance's final album features some of their best drum-work to date and some fine shredding from Sir Phillips. Having Manny Morales return to the fold really works in the band's favor as well. Whereas the bass was nearly buried on many of the early D albums, his thumping bass lines can clearly be heard throughout this album. It's a shame that Deliverance are hanging it up but if you are going to go out, go out on a high note. "Hear What I Say!" is definitely a high note.