Unlike the band's previous few albums, Deliverance chooses to focus more on raw power and speed rather than melody or polish. It's a recipe that worked well for the band in the past, and is immediately apparent with The Subversive Kind's opening track, "Bring 'Em Down." Churning guitars framed by bone-shattering drum beats accompany Jimmy's signature, raspy vocals. A guitar solo wails out of the background like a shrieking banshee as lead guitarist Glenn Rogers proves that time hasn't dulled any of his talent. The current lineup, who all were with Deliverance in the early days outside of bassist Victor Macias, appear to be a tight-knit group, and it comes across in their musical cohesion on The Subversive Kind. Macias is no new name to the scene, either, having played with thrash legends Tourniquet over the course of his career.
"Concept of the Other" is a straightforward thrash assault, with The Crucified-esque transitions. "Center of it All" is one of the more uninspired tracks on the album. The song has a modern sound to it, but it fails to set itself apart from the rest.
"The Black Hand" is a brilliant track. It begins with an intriguing melodic rhythm and segues into a thrash metal masterpiece. The guitars are like twin pillars of relentless fire and Jimmy gives one of his best vocal performances of all time. The chorus is both memorable and haunting, proving that Deliverance still has a lot to say and that they know how to say it. "Epilogue" is classic Deliverance and sounds like it could have been a B-side from Weapons of Our Warfare. This listener is also reminded of Metallica's "Creeping Death."
Just past the halfway point, this listener has to pause and take a breath. Phew! It's like eating a bag of Doritos Blaze chips in the middle of a desert. Only instead of wanting to start a rap battle like Peter Dinklage, I have the urge to find the nearest mosh pit and jump right in! "Listen Closely" is a rhythmic monster and takes a page out of Tourniquet's playbook. Deliverance also experiments with dynamics and tempo changes on this track, which makes the guitar solo three-fourths of the way through the song pack a harder punch.
Then it's on to the masterpiece title track, "The Subversive Kind." The song hits fast and heavy out of the gate with a quick guitar solo. The vocals on this track are some of the most memorable on the album, and the guitar shredding is what Metallica has been missing on their last few albums. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. "The Fold" is the album's final song. It builds tension and suspense over the course of a minute introduction, morphing into one of the more polished numbers on the album.
Deliverance returns with a vengeance on their album The Subversive Kind. It's one of the best metal albums so far in 2018 and the band's best album since the early 90s. Hopefully some younger bands will take note of Deliverance's work ethic and dedication. Fans of thrash metal and speed metal will find this album like a fine cocaine: they'll want to return over and over again to its alluring power. With The Subversive Kind, Deliverance proves that sometimes keeping things simple works out for the best. The album is a tried and true recipe, delivering a thrash metal masterpiece from start to finish.