I am a firm advocate of death and re-birth in music. Let's adopt a Soylent Green approach to all bands, you've got 15 years to make whatever racket you want and then you're Marmite for my toast. Let's face it, most bands are ready for the knackers yard after a decade and a half, so who would complain? Trust a band like DECEASED to piss on the petunias of that argument.
“Surreal Overdose” is like one of those Norris/Seagal types. If you're young, daft and raging with testosterone you think you can handle the mature gentleman minding his own business, when in fact at the first sign of you flinging your snot, you'll be making a note in your diary to meet up a week next Tuesday with the head that's just been knocked off your shoulders. Yes folks, despite some of DECEASED being old enough that they may have shagged your Granny, this band can still rain bricks on your parade.
I'm a little nervous when listening to bands that have been knocking around since I was a lad, (No, I don't mean Gerry and the Pacemakers, you cheeky twats,) so it is a pleasure to report that this album storms in like a Summer gale from the start and howls on through until the end. What's more this mix of Death and Thrash will have head thinking that you've got a spring for a neck. In fact the only way you could grin more whilst listening to this album is to get between two over-enthusiastic fishermen who don't seem to care that they've landed a hook in each side of your mouth. Along with the aforementioned genres, DECEASED give a nod to other reference points, so there's a hint of Hardcore and volley of VENOM amongst the bloodied noses and cauliflower ears.
DECEASED continue to develop their sound, not by any great degree but here they are slicker than an acned teenager's face. The band chop and slice through these tracks, which have the benefit of experience and the vigour of a second youth, the energy is channelled and focussed rather than flying off at tangents. The riffs are queuing up like the jobless in the Depression, just waiting for their chance to shine whilst a succession of blazing lead runs set fire underfoot, there's a lot going on here, at times it'll send your ears boss-eyed. Whilst “Surreal Overdose” sits in the extreme, no one could deny its accessibility, these songs drag you along without resistance, they're like your mates on a pub crawl.
Progress is definitely on the frantic side but there are plenty of slower sections interspersing the rush and thankfully they don't result in breakdowns, even when DECEASED lay down chunks, there's a lightness to their sound that results from hefty dollops of sprightly melody. If you're not on board yet, then surely the fact that all of these songs invite you to holler along will have you signing up, (just bring your air guitar with you.) Whilst I'm not one for verse/chorus compositions, I'd have to be a right miserable fucker not to join in with much on this album. The vocals are more Thrash than Death and so the lyrics are easily discernible and that adds to the inclusiveness of “Surreal Overdose.”
If you are left cold by racing riffs, lightning lead, barrage bass and dynamic drums, then the door's over there. For the rest of you, DECEASED ably demonstrate that there's many a new trick in this old dog, there's no denying they show the young pups how it's done.
(Online June 13, 2011)