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Deceased - "Surreal Overdose" (CD)

Deceased - "Surreal Overdose" CD cover image

"Surreal Overdose" track listing:

1. Skin Crawling Progress
2. Kindred Assembly
3. The Traumatic
4. Cloned (Day of the Robot)
5. Off-Kilter
6. In the Laboratory Of Joyous Gloom
7. A Doom-Laden Aura
8. Dying In Analog

Reviewed by on June 27, 2011

"Swift-thrashing speed, King’s gravelly vocal tones (think Cronos of Venom), eerie guitar harmonies and solos, and grisly lyrics of terror define “Surreal Overdose.”"

King Fowley presents eight blood-chilling, heavy metal narrations in the form of “Surreal Overdose.” This album is the first in six years for the death/thrash/heavy metal hybrid known as Deceased. “Surreal Overdose” also marks King’s return as a drummer/vocalist since having to put away his sticks due to a blood clot.

Those who have painstakingly waited for a new Deceased record will take comfort in knowing “Surreal Overdose” is a Deceased album, all the way. All the facets that define the Virginia group are still in tact. Swift-thrashing speed, King’s gravelly vocal tones (think Cronos of Venom fame), eerie guitar harmonies and solos, and grisly lyrics of terror define “Surreal Overdose.”

Although I have no comment on Deceased’s last recording “As the Weird Travel On” because I haven’t heard it, “Surreal Overdose” seems to move at a much fiercer pace than prior recordings. The group wastes no time in outlining their speed addiction. The opening track “Skin Crawling Progress” leaves the listener choking in a cloud of dust. “Off-Kilter” is a drum-pounding maelstrom.

While tracks such as the two mentioned above move at sweltering paces, the album never gets repetitive or boring. King and his cast keep each song dynamic. “Off-Kilter” transitions into a brief, Celtic-Frost-like groove and onto a British heavy metal fist-pumping movement. “The Traumatic” follows a similar course of modern drum blasting and classic heavy metal guitar play. Mike Smith and Shane Fuegel are full of guitar hooks—just check out “Cloned.”

At seven minutes long, “Skin Crawling Progress” has plenty of room for tempo breaks and eerie guitar harmonies and solos. “Kindred Assembly” bears the distinct feel of a Deceased song, but has this black/thrash approach reminiscent of Desaster. Being the horror movie fan that King Fowley is, he usually composes creepy, film score tracks that work well in breaking up his albums. He does it here with a clean-toned instrumental appropriately titled “A Doom-Laden Aura.”

Anyone who lost interest during Deceased’s period of inactivity over the past years must rediscover the band by picking up “Surreal Overdose.” The album contains no filler—every song is chocked full of killer riffs, blistering speed and cerebral harmonies. This recording should go down as the comeback album of the year; possibly a top-ten overall.

Highs: The album contains no filler—every song is chocked full of killer riffs, blistering speed and cerebral harmonies.

Lows: King Fowley's rough vocal tones are the only negative point on this near-perfect album.

Bottom line: This recording should go down as the comeback album of the year, possibly a top-ten overall.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)