Deceased - Surreal Overdose (PATAC)

Aged deathsters don't fade away - they thrash til death!
Release Date: 
12 May 2011 - 11:30pm

Aaahhh, Deceased. I remember a time when, sitting in the office listening to Fearless Undead Machines (the band’s classic 1997 release) I was asked by the girl at the next desk to take the damn album off because it was ‘just too heavy’. And now? Their demented, blackhearted take on sample-happy death metal just seems kinda quaint, and not really heavy at all when held up against today's young blood. Still rip-roaring fun for you and your moshpit buddies, but somehow... not of this world. Like an exhibit in a living museum, King Fowley and company hack and slash their way through eight slabs of gore-splattered good stuff on Surreal Overdose with all the contented, glassy eyed abandon of some inmates of a home for distressed metalheads who aren’t really sure what year it is anymore. As long as they get their (metal) medication and have someone to wipe the drool from their slack jaws every now and then they’re happy, and why should we complain?

Surreal overdose, eh? Never a truer word was spoken as Fowley rasps and screams his endless tales of nefarious scientists and Zombie apocalypse. The thing is, for all my slightly desperate jibes, the last laugh will surely be on me, as SO delivers an absolutely enjoyable three quarters of an hour of wild-eyed mayhem that promises a good, if slightly messy time and delivers on all counts.

Cloned features some marvellous double kick drumwork, a fevered Kreatoresque guitar barrage and, perhaps most importantly, robot voices buried deep in the mix (actually they’re more old-school Cylon noises, but you get my drift) all melded together into a superbly catchy whole that’ll remind you of Venom’s finest moments whilst simultaneously knocking them into the nearest slops bucket; Vulture Shock is similarly exciting, Fowley’s spiteful vocal assault superbly aided and abetted by yet more clattering drums and some superb axework courtesy of guitarists Shane Fuegel and Mike Smith. But to pick out just two tracks from Surreal Overdose is really to miss the point. Wherever you drop the laser eye you’ll find the same levels of excellence operating, and if top drawer death from the old school is your thing then I guarantee you’ll hear very little to top this album this year.