August 30, 2011 | | 4.5

Deceased, Surreal Overdose

Deceased: Surreal Overdose

It’s been six long years since we’ve heard from Virginia’s Deceased — six long years without the band’s blend of thrash/death and horror movie fueled lyrics. While Surreal Overdose is being billed as a come-back album, the only real come-back as it relates to the album is the return of King Fowley to the drum kit for the first time since being diagnosed with a blood clot. Regardless of the band’s length of hiatus, their latest studio album is full to the bloody rim with ferocious thrashing death metal that is peppered with some seriously catchy melodies that defy the genre that this cult band have carved out for themselves.

“Skin Crawling Progress” is an absolutely behemoth of an opening track, as it explodes out of the speakers with aggressive, pile-driving drums, hellish screams, Fowley’s gruff barks and galloping riffs. Holy shit, this is one hell of a song to re-introduce yourself to fans old and new. Even at nearly seven minutes in length, the track flies by like watching a multiple-car pile up on the interstate as you speed toward it unable to get to that brake pedal quick enough. “Kindred Assembly” keeps the momentum flowing with a more traditional, though slightly blackened, thrashing monstrosity. The drums rarely let up from the pummeling as the guitars drive your skull into the ground with chugging riffs and catchy hooks. Man, there are some sick leads throughout those first two tracks.

The guys slow things down just a touch with the mid-tempo “The Traumatic,” and it’s catchy as hell guitar work. The song breathes a good deal more than the first two songs even as Deceased ratchet up the pace with Fowley’s delivery. The injection of melodies into the band’s brand of death/thrash is a nice change of pace and really opens up their sound wonderfully. After the nearly six minute “The Traumatic,” the guys really let loose with a ripper of a song that is accompanied by eerie guitars and galloping drums. The horror/sci-fi themed “Cloned” is delivered for a majority of it’s length with a mid-pace rhythm as a memorable (and sing-along) chorus punctuates the track. This song has that instant classic vibe to it, especially just after the three minute mark — that bass line is sick as hell.

Sweet mother of all things holy, “Off-Kilter” certainly lives up to it’s name in spades. This song is a bestial blast of thundering thrash delivered a break-neck speed. Sick, firy leads do their best to quench the drums thirst for brimstone, but it’s to no avail, they continue their assault on your skull with reckless abandon… which leads into even more thundering thrash with “In The Laboratory of Johous Gloom.” It’s not the best song on the album, but it still carries the cranial crunching momentum along nicely. Though, it’s another fairly lengthy song for this style of metal, it flies by and is over with before you know it.

The brief instrumental, as impressive as it is, “A Doom-laden Aura” is a bit of a surprise to find amongst the pummeling death/thrash — especially so late in the album. At any rate, it last but a minute and is quickly forgotten with one hell of an album closer in “Dying In Analog.” Another instant thrash classic, the song carries tons of galloping riffs, melodic hooks and a the fast-forward aggression we’ve been gleefully force fed all album long. Man, this song is furious as it jumps from tempo to tempo. The shout-along chorus is infectious. Awesome!

Deceased’s Surreal Overdose is one of the most addictive albums I’ve heard in a long time. I find something new to like in its depths almost every time I spin the disc, and I’ve been playing this album nonstop since receiving the promo. This Virginia band may very well break out of their underground cult shroud with this album. Be ready boys.