The first thing to love about the new Deceased record is how the cover, depicting a ghoul reading an ancient tome with Poe’s portrait staring over his shoulder, is influenced by the old EC horror titles Tales From the Crypt and Vault Of Horror. That was back when fear actually meant something, laced with dark humor and monsters that preyed on the imagination rather than buckets o’ blood and guts spewed all over the page or camera. “Of One Blood’s” cover is also the most telling clue to the continued musical and thematic progression of Deceased. Long gone is the primitive death metal outfit of old, replaced with an altogether more musically proficient and advanced killing machine, taking in more classy Euro-metal influences.
Not to worry, they’re not completely Crimson Glory or Hammerfall. I’m just finding “One One Blood” a devastating listening experience more in the vein of a King Diamond than a Monstrosity. Like how an ultra-tasty guitar break in “A Very Familiar Stranger,” fades straight into blast beats, to Sabbath sludge for about ten seconds and then into a mega-god extended solo. Few bands can pull this off while keeping the first four rows down the front headbanging away.
Deceased are now able to flesh out their sophisticated and fully-formed tales of terror with a varying degree of moods, dynamics, and of course, flesh-peeling riffs. Speaking of the lyrical content, Deceased are full-on horror scholars, basing each of the eight songs on a classic of the genre, be it Twilight Zone, Tales From the Crypt, Trilogy Of Terror, The Blair Witch Project, Asylum, and (fuck yes!) An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge! And by the way, how does King Fowley manage to keep perfect time on the drums, while screaming and growling out intricate fear lullabies? Send your answers on a postcard.
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