Released: 2005, Thrash Corner Records
After 5 years, so many compilations, two albums of covers, a few re-releases, a live album, an all too short EP, and a split with their long time record label, Relapse Records Deceased are back with a new full-length album. I’ve been waiting for this for so long, 5 years to be exact, as I got into the band with 2000’s SUPERNATURAL ADDICTION, and I’ve been waiting for them to fulfill the promise of BEHIND THE MOURNER’S VEIL which was all too short, yet filled with some of their best material. On AS THE WEIRD TRAVEL ON the Deceased camp see their first line-up change in quite a while with Dave Castillo (also in King’s other band, October 31) taking over for King on drums with King concentrating on vocals.
So what do we get from Deceased after such a long hiatus? A pure Deceased album. Things haven’t changed too much musically since the last time, maybe it’s just a tad more straight forward musically, just a tad thrashier here and there but there’s still that dark sense of melody and adventure. Even after Fowley’s recent health problems his vocals are just as good as ever, still distinct from his vocals in October 31, still sounding hoarse and dark as hell.
“The Kept” starts off just like one would expect with a strong use of lead guitar over chugging rhythm guitars. This eventually leads into the song’s verses which use a much more thrash oriented style but it’s the in between riffs, like the one that shows up at 0:56, and is repeated throughout, that really make the song. That slightly odd sense of melody for the tail end of the riff is rather off putting and unsettling, just like we’ve come to expect from Deceased. Even the odd lead guitar sounds showing up at 2:11 is unsettling while sounding like something out of some retro horror film. Yet, throughout all of this the band still thrashes throughout while creating a song of epic length (almost 8 minutes long). I’d heard “The Funeral Parlours Secret” long before this album was released, seeing as the band had released it as an mp3 long before the album was finally released so I’m already rather familiar with this one… and so should you! I’ll just throw in that it’s a definite thrasher and certainly shouldn’t be missed, if only for it’s chanting of “DEATH! SHALL! SET! IT! FREE!”.
“A Witness to Suspiria” has extremely heavy riffing, the opening riff is just bone crushingly heavy, I mean, damn, that guitar sound is what a lot of bands aspire to have. The infamous skank beat makes one of its many appearances in this track and just adds to the overall urgency and speed of the riffs. The lead melody at 2:50 is extremely catchy, finding myself humming it to myself the odd time, and leads nicely into the lone drum/bass section which then has guitar added to it to create the thrashy section before the all too short solo. Very odd riffing opens “Unwanted Memories” which reminds me of Voivod. It’s rather off time and has that very spacey sound that Voivod would go for and adding the straight bass line in there really just sets it off before hitting the melodic metal riff and up tempo drumming. The song then opens up, fast and thrasing again before hitting that amazing dual lead work at 2:34, that’s when I just sat listening to the music with my jaw dropped open. Not that it’s overly technical but it’s just amazingly wonderful to listen to and all too short.
“Craving Illness” instigates another odd intro that reminds one of 50’s surfer music, a very odd intro for such a heavy thrashing track which reaches back a bit in Deceased’s past, hitting rather close to the early days at points. The melodic work in the intro to “Fright” is another jaw dropping moment for me, it just works so well. If Mike Smith and Mark Adams haven’t worked themselves into your mind as one of metal’s best guitar duos they will with this album, the solos just keep ripping back and forth, these guys are seriously just unreal. All in all “Fright” is a kick ass, slightly more melodic number on the album and it just keeps jumping back and forth… who says long songs can’t be interesting?
Deceased are baaaaaaaaaack! No doubts, no bullshit, pure old school metal with that creep you out vibe. The lead work alone makes the damn thing a must buy, not to mention the kick ass riffs, song structures and just plain great performance by the whole band.