Shrieks From The Hearse Records
Sometimes, good things come to those who wait. This is a philosophy one must have if you are a Deceased fanatic. Their last album, As The Weird Travel On, was delivered six years ago and was perhaps the most underrated album of 2005. Several things have changed in that time, most notably the retirement of guitarist Mark Adams from music altogether. The band finally found the time this year to regroup and put to tape their next death metal monstrosity.
This is death metal done right. Deceased have their own niche within the genre, one that doesn't really have classification. They may be heavier than that fat girl you once took home, but they aren't brutal death metal. They have enough melody to make Dave Murray and Adrian Smith smile, yet they certainly do not belong in the melodic death metal genre. They possess intricacies and nuances, but don't string together riff after riff after riff mindlessly like many in the technical death metal genre. No, Deceased is above all that nonsense. They are just Deceased, death metal as it should be, presented as is and with no apologies.
Surreal Overdose is probably their most manic album since Luck Of The Corpse. The tunes are fast and in your face, with the aggression amped up from their last two albums. As soon as Skin Crawling Progress begins, you are assaulted with a barrage of riffs and then King Fowley's menacing vocals. He wastes no time in narrating his chilling tales of horror and doom. It's amazing that he never gets short of breath as he goes through his horrid tomes. King is also back behind the drum kit, sitting it out the last time due to complications with a blood clot that almost ended the maniac. It doesn't sound like he's lost a step either. He's all over the kid like a madman, sounding much more natural and fluent than a lot of the protools assisted hitters out there.
Mike Smith is still responsible for the guitar attack, but this time he has newcomer Shane Fuegal to play off of. Listening to how this duo sounds on this record, you'd think that Shane has been in the band for a decade. It can be argued that Shane has been part of the live band for a few years now, but Mike Smith retired from live performance long ago, so you can chalk this up to natural chemistry between the two.
A quick playthrough may result in the listener thinking that Deceased is playing in only one gear. Nothing can be further from the truth. Melody bleeds through the guitar playing, though the aggression is the focus. The intro to Cloned can be confused with that of a power metal band, but the heaviness will smash through, resulting in the band balancing between the two. Prepare to pump your fists in the air for the chorus, it has that sing-along element that will be so much fun to experience in the live setting.
Surreal Overdose is a product of a band that is still hungry, even after 25 years of their inception. It contains the blood, sweat and agony that so few albums these days possess, especially among the processed conveyor belt metal that all of the major metal labels are pumping out, quality be damned. With Deceased, it is their way or none at all (just ask Relapse).
01. Skin Crawling Progress
02. Kindred Assembly
03. The Traumatic
04. Cloned (Day Of The Robot)
06. In The Laboratory Of Joyous Gloom
07. A Doom-Laden Aura
08. Dying In Analog