Released: 2009, Area Death Productions
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Area Death Productions from Bejing, China, is really doing some great favors to all rare metal hunters from all over the world. Their back catalog of rare, both unreleased and re-issued stuff, plus a host of new releases, is to say the least, kinda impressive. Releases from Thanatos (EMERGING FROM THE NETHERWORLDS), Necrophagia (1983-1987 – RARE & UNRELEASED), Insanity (CHRONICLES OF THE CURSED), Skitzo (MOSH TILL VOMIT), etc., makes ADP one of the most interesting and noteworthy labels around nowadays, as far as old school metal (heavy/speed/thrash/death) is concerned.
Deceased, originally from Arlington, Virginia, recorded a good handful of demos before they got signed to Relapse Records in 1990. Most of the band´s demos were so-called ´hot items´ during the days of the underground tape trading scene, and I guess most of underground tape traders had at least some of their demos in their private collections – most of them probably either 2nd or 3rd class copies, and just a small bunch of these underground metal collectors had managed to get them as original copies straight from the band members back in the day.
To serve better the fans of die-hard Deceased fans, I think it was a really wise move both from Zwang Wu Qiang, the owner of ADP and the Deceased camp, to get all of their now very rare demos on to 1 double-CD, along with some rare rehearsals + live material as extras. Somehow all this stuff was just waiting to be released some day, and that day is here now, serving all of us Deceased fans from all around the world. Not only do you get all the rare, hard-to-get demos, rehearsals and live tracks from them, but also very detailed liner notes about each recording on this 2-CD release, written by King Fowley himself. And that´s not all that you get. This collection of Deceased´s early days, also contains a 20-page booklet featuring a long interview with King – not to mention a deluxe boxset (limited to 200 copies only) that includes a Deceased wristband, key ring, patch, pin, double-CD, limited Deceased “Worship the Coffin” T-shirt and full-size poster, too.
Since this is supposed to be an album review (really?), I guess a few words about the stuff included for this early days of Deceased is in order, right folks? ;o)
As we talk about the early days of this fine and semi-cult-ish US metal act, of course you cannot really compare Deceased´s past work to anything that they have done since 1997, on the more refined, melodic and advanced style of the FEARLESS UNDEAD MACHINES album - and from that album on, on their later albums. Deceased, from the mid of 80´s to early 90´s, had their own specific sound; a mix of thrash, death and heavy metal that so many metal bangers found so appealing and exciting to their liking back in the day. The best material that is featured for this splendid collection of Deceased´s early ´gems´, are definitely the band´s 1988 DEATH BY RADIATION demo that sold over 2,000 copies all in all - and naturally a 7-song 1989 NUCLEAR EXORCIST demo that both represented the musical style that was about to come on the band´s debut full-length album, titled LUCK OF THE CORPSE in 1990. Fast, very unorthodox deathrashing metallic mayhem - that is what Deceased was all about 20, even more, years ago. They truly were one of the underground´s finest and most talked-about metal combos back in the day, and whenever I decide to go back to their early material, I don´t wonder at all why so many people loved this Virginia-based thrash/death metal band.
First off, if you are a serious Deceased collector, then you most probably have purchased this 2-CD of Deceased´s early works for your collection already. Secondly, if you are a serious Deceased collector, you already know that most of this stuff has already been available in several Deceased compilation CDs for years, but you still feel an urgent, inner need to invest your hard-earned money into this because you are a die-hard Deceased collector anyway. And if you have never gotten a real chance to hear and find out how Deceased sounded like in the past glorious yet hard days of the underground metal scene, then WORSHIP THE COFFIN (that is also one of their song titles that can be found from their 1988 BIRTH BY RADIATION demo, by the way) is a somewhat perfect way to learn the history of Deceased a little bit more, I think. ;o)