As of the writing of this review, there are no reviews of DECEASED on “The Metal Observer”. I find that astonishing to me, yet not terribly unusual by a lot of Metal standards. DECEASED are an unforgivably, underrated and shockingly overlooked Metal act. So, since TMO has top standards, I feel it an obligation to right this wrong.
Formed in Virginia in 1985, DECEASED became a well known act around the Washington, D.C. area as a mean, speed freak act willing to not only play covers of better known acts like METALLICA and SLAYER, but to even crank the originals up and give them a flavour of their own. Though the band has had line up changes like almost every act in Metal, one thing has remained as the cornerstone of DECEASED: front man and previous drummer King Fowley. Fowley (his first name is actually a shortening of his real name Kingsley), got the band up and running and by the time DECEASED got to their third album “Fearless Undead Machines” recorded in 1996, they had perfected the gripping Thrash that has been their calling card since the beginning. Up until recently Fowley had been a rarity in music and more so Metal, as a singer who also played drums. Lately though, due to an injury Fowley is just the singer.
‘Fearless Undead Machines” is a very unique album in that while it was recorded and released in the mid-nineties, it has all the sense of an earlier release when the Thrash and Death Metal movements seemed to be converging. That is easy to understand as DECEASED were a band that ushered in that edgier fold to Thrash and on FUM they provided a blueprint of how it should be done. The album lyrically is a thematic piece following the tribulations of, you guessed it, Zombies! Peppered in are clips from classic Zombie movies like “Night Of The Living Dead” and “Let Sleeping Corpses Lie”. DECEASED take the theme and wrap a first rate attack of speed and note tapping melodies that became the backbone of the Scandinavian Neo-Thrash movement.
Along with sublime tempo and rhythm changes are Fowley’s harsh, desperate vocals. His coarse throaty singing seems tailored for the stories of Zombies hunting the living. The opening track “The Silent Creature” drowns the listener in a deluge of ferocious Thrash. DECEASED don’t lose the plot musically and meander all over the place, but choppy enough to keep you on your aural toes, so to speak. A song like “Night Of The Deceased” exemplifies this impeccably, striding out with classic Thrash at the opening siren, then just as Fowley and the music appears to be heading to a swift clash, they change it up with ongoing, fantastic shifts in riffs and even tone. Damn it this song fucking kills! But, they all do on FUM. Fowley along with Adams, Smith and Snyder tear shit up, smash it together and drag it along for the ride through the land of the Dead. DECEASED have recently in 2005 released a great new album and also having seen them play with Exhumed earlier this year, I can assure you they are still a vivacious band with a killer instinct. But, do yourself a favour and get a hold of “Fearless Undead Machines.” I doubt you could have more fun playing with animated corpses than this. (Online December 28, 2005)