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Deceased - Ghostly White

Deceased
Ghostly White
by Kayla Hutton at 05 December 2018, 6:43 AM

It’s been some time since we last heard from Virginia’s DECEASED. The wait is well worth it as they have released their 8th full-length album “Ghostly White” via Hells Headbangers Records on November 16th, 2018. The release date was moved to November 14th, 2018 due to the passing of drummer Dave Castillo on November 13th, 2018. Some history for ya, DECEASED was the first band signed to Relapse Records. Not only that, but they were Americas first melodic death metal band, biting at the heals of the Swedes. With their unique breed of melodic death metal, thrash metal, ear piercing high-frequency guitars and zombie themes DECEASED are one of the bands that contributed to the formation of what defines extreme music. They just never really got the credit they deserved.

With “Ghostly White” Fowley’s vocals are still recognizable, however, the higher toned screams have gotten a little deeper. The music has more melodic progression than it did back then as well. Still holding true to boasting some thrashy tempo’s combined with a signature sound similar to Swedish death metal band DISMEMBER. Very distinct. DECEASED has never been a polished, structured band. Their music has always hit like a wall of noise. Dirty and as nasty as a metal dive bar. I mean high dollar production is great, but c’mon death metal isn’t pretty. DECEASED are veterans at making the topic of death just as gross as it actually is.

Endless Well” is the shining moment from “Ghostly White”. Strong leads, great melody, and pure extreme gritty pit music. The vocals, even with their mid-tone growl, are audible and do take a melodic stance. The swelling guitars and crashing of cymbals embark on a destructive journey while the emotive melodies twist the heart into a state of peril and despair. “Thoughts of a leaking Brain” enters with snare strikes reminiscent of a marching band, the guitar riff has a similarity to old KREATOR. The spoken words almost a clean vocal line accompany the intros sample and the song does have a directional storyboard that is more apparent and premeditated. Always a creative lyricist, it seems more time has been spent or at least broadened.

Pale Surroundings” is DECEASED in true horror-esque form. Derived from old zombie classic movies and the stuff nightmares are made off. For those who wander the graveyard late at night always keeping a heightened sense about their surroundings just in case a hand should rise from the crypt and grab at your ankle. The clean vocal harmonies near the tracks end are absolutely haunting as the sound of the wind fills as the transient. I have to say this is a progressed DECEASED. Not lighter, not older, just directionally forward. The downside to “Ghostly White” is that there isn’t much that sets one song apart from the other. They all kind of bleed together. When you consider that “ Germ of Distorted Lore” has a 13:20 runtime, you could easily cut in half and call it 2 tracks just to say there is another track or you could leave no silence between tracks and package it like DREAM THEATER’sChange of Season” and call it 54 minute song. The production value did get better as the guitar solos are unmistakable as each note is played no matter the speed.

While the loss of Castillo is tragic there has been no word on the impact it will have on DECEASED’s future plans. Considering Fowley writes the drum lines anyway, I am not sure if I praise the return of DECEASED or hold onto “Ghostly White” and accept that it may be a while before we hear from them again. If you are already a fan, you won't be disappointed. If you’ve never engaged your ears in listening to DECEASED and need a fix of extreme music with an approach not typically heard in bands from the U.S., start with “Ghostly White” or the E.P. “13 Frightened Souls”. Learn some music history and give props to a true underground, underappreciated band of pioneers that will likely remain as such for the duration of their career.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Mrs. Allardyce
2. Germ of Distorted Lore
3. A Palpation's Warning
4. To Serve the Insane
5. Endless Well
6. The Shivers
7. Thoughts from a Leaking Brain
8. Pale Surroundings
Lineup:
King Fowley - Vocals
Lee Snyder - Bass
Mike Smith - Guitar
Shane Fuelgel - Guitar
Dave Castillo - Drums
Record Label: Hells Headbangers
     


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