Deliverance - Hear What I Say

DELIVERANCE
Hear What I Say!
Roxx Records
2013

Hear What I Say, for all intents and purposes, is the official final album by the legendary Deliverance. Which saddens me, as I am a long-time (and sometimes long-suffering) fan of Jimmy P. Brown’s flagship METAL band; but, after quite a few listens, I do have to say that, if they must go out, at least they’re going out on a very high note with Hear What I Say!.

For a while before the actual release, there were rumors swirling around the METAL message boards, speculation of this one going to be not only a back-to-their-roots speed/thrash album, but will also see the reunion of the classic D album, from around the Weapons Of Our Warfare era. Not so. And I say that’s a good thing. I will admit that, while I am a thrash/speed METAL freak at my core, I consider a lot of their material from Stay Of Execution on to be some of Jimmy’s best work with the band. So, I’ll just come out to say that, while they came close to blending both the Speed Metal and Dark Metal eras together on As Above~So Below, I do believe they got the formula right here on Hear What I Say!.

First off, as far as a “classic lineup”, yeah I can see why most were hoping for the return of shred-meister George Ochoa, but for me, having Stay Of Execution-era guitarist Michael Phillips and longtime favorite bassist Manny Morales as part of the lineup is about as close to classic as one could get. And as far as the drums go, they recruited Jayson Sherlock. Jayson freaking Sherlock. I’m not complaining. Matter of fact, I’m drooling right about now.

Now, about the music. Boy freaking howdy, does Hear What I Say! rip. After a brief intro, the album ripps into “The Annals Of Subterfuge” (which, I’m told, was the original title for the album, before it was changed). That and the follow-up “Angst” are about as close as anyone is going to get to a “classic Deliverance sound”. After a bit of a change in pace with a cover of Sombrance’s “Hope Lies Beyond” (which kind of reminds me a lot of when they covered Daniel Amos in the past), the songs shift into more of a blending of heavy and dark on the following three songs, bringing to mind the best parts of Stay Of Execution and Learn; “A Perfect Sky” is just Jimmy Brown and an acoustic guitar, which showcases his tallent on any version of the instrument. Then it’s a smoking cover of Iron Maiden’s “Where Eagles Dare”, leading into the album ender, the “German version” of “Detox”: “Entgiftung”.

And that kind of leads me into the only real complaint I have about Hear What I Say!: namely, when you factor in that the first track is an instrumental intro, and the final track is merely a different language reworking of another song on the same album, there’s really only eight tracks of full-on Deliverance goodness to be had, here. There wasn’t another original track or two to include on here? And no, I don’t count the bonus “sampler” montage “song” that was included on certain pre-releases.

While I’m inclined to say “never say never again”, and the fact that Deliverance still seems to be listed as active at the moment, if Hear What I Say! really is the final Deliverance studio album, then I must say that I would be sad, but ultimately satisfied with this swan song. A good solid listen from beginning to end, I’ve had this spinning for quite some time since I first acquired it. Highly recommended.

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