Deceased - Luck Of The Corpse
Relapse Records
Death Metal
11 songs (36:26)
Release year: 1991
Relapse Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Deceased were a one-trick pony, looking at the cover art. Nothing would quite sum up horror metal of the Necrophagian type as that, a bloated corpse lying on a bed staring at you with terrified eyes – doesn’t it just makes you want to go ‘bleeeeeurgh!’ and run screaming from some zombies? Well, Deceased do have lyrics about horror and zombies, and their sound is somewhere between the early thrashing days of Death and Napalm Death’s lighter grinding moments, but don’t assume that this means all intelligence is rotten away. There’s a real technicality being born here that makes for an enjoyable listen – the band are expert at mixing sloppy punkish heaviness with a brainy death metal skillset. Of the eleven songs here, all are killers, all absolutely hit that death metal spot, and all will ruin your neck muscles. You can thank the thrash influences as much as anything, moments that seem stolen from Slayer being copious and helping make Luck Of The Corpse the rather brilliant debut that it is.

It doesn’t waste any time, that’s for certain. Opener Fading Survival runs straight for your throat, vocalist/drummer King Fowley’s deep grunts beneath a doomy mid-paced rumble from the guitars, before he launches into a blastbeat, guitars becoming fast and twisted in the background. A rather awesome blink-and-you’ll-miss-it breakdown leads into widdly soloing, finishing on a high note. Elsewhere, Experimenting With Failure leads into atmospherically profound guitar shrieking, Futuristic Doom’s unconventional riffing works well with King’s howls of pain, and the grinding speed of Haunted Cerebellum is as intense and gutwrenching as the genre’s best. You have to be impressed by the production, which highlights every instrument in a raw way without detracting from the experience one iota. The vocals have just enough echo to give the album a classic feel, dated yet not at all without a timeless feel, and the drumming is great, varied and interesting without calling your attention away from the rest of the music.

The most interesting thing about this album for me is the moments like Decrepit Coma, off-kilter riffs sounding like they come from the Voivod playbook and giving the album a genuine quirkiness that’s great fun. There are even melodic parts to the five-minute Psychedelic Warriors and Birth By Radiation that are almost proggy in execution, contrasting well with the caveman bluntness of Feasting On Skulls. Tracks like Shrieks From The Hearse mix this dual nature in well, and don’t forget to give listeners moments to shriek along to – few bands managed this amount of sheer fun on their debuts. Sadly, I have no idea how Deceased continued to develop, as this is the only album I’ve heard from them. I was actually rather surprised to find out that they’ve been releasing things ever since, this year’s intriguingly-titled Surreal Overdose sure to get my attention at some point. In any case, Deceased is a name that should be much better known amongst the death metal hordes, and Luck Of The Corpse is a fine start.

Killing Songs :
Fading Survival, Futuristic Doom, Haunted Cerebellum, Decrepit Coma, Psychedelic Warriors, Feasting On Skulls, Birth By Radiation
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Deceased that we have reviewed:
Deceased - Supernatural Addiction reviewed by Alex and quoted 81 / 100
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There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue May 31, 2011 6:38 am
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