Here’s one that not only got past me but completely flew under my radar, leaving me unaware of its release for over a month (stealth release under the cover of darkness brought to you by PATAC Records) . If I wasn’t already a fan of Deceased I would shrug it off, but since I am, I feel shame, rage, regret and finally, acceptance (of the rage and regret). Deceased have been around a long time and their fusion of death, thrash and classic metal was a big part of my 90’s listening rotation (if you never heard their classic Fearless Undead Machines release, you missed out bigtime). Their last full length was way back in 2005 and I although I clearly missed the secret memo they had a new one ready to go, Surreal Overdose is worth the long wait and its a real winner. Bringing back their berserk, ravenous thrash style, things get crazy quicker than you can say “Gwar mates with Lady Gaga in her giant egg chamber” (which I would pay to see BTW). Songs like “Skin Crawling Process” are raging thrash anthems with a touch of old school death and traditional heavy metal woven in. There are Slayeresque riffs, whammy bar molestation and King Fowley’s unmistakable raspy shouts. “Kindred Assembly” has blast beats and nonstop, throat gnawing aggression that’s bound to get the blood all angered up. “Cloned (Day of the Robot)” has trilling, melodic leads and memorable riffing throughout, sometimes sounding like Iron Maiden, sometimes like Slayer. Every track here blazes away with an insane, manic intensity that will remind older metal fans of how the early thrash albums sounded and felt.

That brings me to the key point about why this is worth checking out. Surreal Overdose is one of the most “metal” albums I’ve heard in a long, long time. Its like a case study on what makes metal fun and so damn enjoyable. Its so rabidly over-the-top it’s practically foaming at the mouth and the riffs, drumming and vocals all scream EXCESS! With all the inspired lunacy, its also a very technical record with a mother-ship full of great metal/thrash riffs. While Fowley’s blathering vocal approach can be an acquired taste, this is so unhinged musically, its fun regardless of your personal take on his antics. Imagine the violence of the new Hate Eternal album filtered through a prism of 80’s thrash and classic metal and you have an idea what this will sound like. If any album commanded you to up the horns in 2011, this is it. Get it, absorb it, hail it, then go track down Fearless Undead Machines.

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