Deceased - Ghostly White - (8.5/10)
Published on November 30, 2018
Almost every band has a point where they drop off. Some bands have just one good album and then they drop off severely. Some bands can release 2-3 albums before they tank. Some bands release as many as seven albums, like Maiden, before they succumb and have their inevitable decline. It is very rare when a band can keep up consistent quality without a dropoff (Mortem [Peru] is one of the few bands that have ever done it). Deceased was looking like a band that was in Mortem’s class—a band that avoided the ravages of age and the poor taste that seems to develop amongst middle aged metal musicians. A band that managed to keep pumping out excellent album after album. Many may have thought they were done after their radio silence since 2011. But they came back this year, releasing their 7th proper full length, Ghostly White. Alas, I’m sad to report that Deceased, after their uniformly excellent 30 year career, has succumb. They have Deceased. They have finally released a bad album.
You no doubt no, of course, that I am kidding. Deceased fucking rule and they continue to rule on Ghostly White.
I doubt any of you really took the bait on my silly little intro. Deceased has been so consistent that it would be nigh on unbelievable that they would release a bad album at this point. But, come on, it’s been seven years since their last one! Couldn’t they have lost a step?! Nope, they haven’t. They have continued along their path of undead supremacy, releasing another collection of driving, catchy, awesomely macabre songs that only strengthens their legendary legacy.
Ghostly White starts off strong. The first track is the crazy catchy and creepy “Mrs. Allardyce,” which kicks off the album in awe-inspring fashion with a kick-down-the rotten door riff and razor sharp melody behind it. The song finds King Fowley in true storyteller fashion in a way that only he and the other King (Diamond, that is) have the ability to do. Next we’ve got a curve ball—the 13 minute “Germ of Distorted Lore.” It’s not like Deceased haven’t released long songs—in fact their average song length is pretty long. But they’ve never released one this long. And it’s second on the album, which is a weird place to put a super long song! Fortunately, King and Co. do a decent job. I always have high expectations for long songs; I mean, if you’re going to waste that much album space on one song, it better be worth it. Though “Germ” doesn’t join the pantheon of songs like “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,” it’s still great fun, with many distinct sections and memorable songwriting. After the second track, we get the album’s shortest track, “A Palpitation’s Warning,” which is probably the most immediate and aggressive. For the rest of the album, Deceased kind of kicks it into cruise control—and it’s not a bad thing. Tracks 4-8 are all mid-length death/thrash/heavy excellency in true Deceased fashion. They’ve all got catchy melodies, memorable choruses, great riffing, and a characteristically charismatic vocal performance from King Fowley. Behind the kit, King kind of takes a back seat and isn’t very flashy, but he does his job admirably, allowing the guitars to shine while shining himself behind the mic. The album ends very strong as well, with the excellent riff-fest “Pale Surroundings.” It’s got both Maiden melodies, excellent thrash riffs, and one of the best riffs Slayer never wrote at 3:30.
I hope none of you were fooled by my intro. Deceased continue to write excellent, driving, utterly unique music in 2018. I don’t know what it will take to make Deceased fall off and write a bad album. Maybe it’s not possible. But their run isn’t over yet—they still have their stranglehold over the graveyard.
Aaron’s Accu-rating: 8.4