BAND: Deceased (Singapore)
RELEASE: The Void Of No Return (2020)
LABEL: Nuclear Family Records
REVIEWER: Arthur Urquiola
FIND MORE INFO HERE: https://deceasedsg.bandcamp.
PICK UP THE RECORD HERE: https://www.
After the initial explosion of Hardcore in the ’80s took the stripped-down sounds of the preceding decade’s Punk Rock and ramped up the speed and intensity, Crossover Thrash saw Punk musicians deploy some heaviness and precision, while Metalheads who weren’t interested in pursuing stadium-sized choruses and Glam Rock fashion looked to the underground for a faster, harder-edged extreme to take metal towards. After bands like Suicidal Tendencies, DRI, Cro-Mags and Stormtroopers Of Death established the sound, Municipal Waste, Toxic Holocaust and Havok carried the torch in recent years. Singapore quintet Deceased can stake their claim among the latest bands further evolving the fusion of Hardcore and Speed Metal.
Deceased experienced a sea change of its own – Starting in 2014 playing a more ubiquitous style of Hardcore in the vein of Madball and Terror. After releasing an EP ‘The Wake‘ in 2017, the band went on hiatus, returning last year with a much more aggressive sound that incorporated Thrash without sacrificing the rhythmic heft their earlier, more bouncing rhythms would carry. It was a reemergence that landed them a suitable and much-deserved opening slot on Power Trip‘s Southeast Asia shows in early 2020. Now they have a raw and huge sounding record to serve as a reminder of their live performances with this new, more intense direction before the global pandemic changed the year for everyone, everywhere.
The introductory track kicking off ‘The Void Of No Return‘ does nothing to ease listeners into this latest onslaught of tunes. Pummeling from the start, it feels less like an introduction than a performance that starts in media res. It’s a feeling comparable to making your way into the club and catching the band after they’ve set up and just started their set.
From intro track to title track, ‘The Void Of No Return‘ rages like the best of “The Big Four” – an introduction that could’ve been on ‘Kill ‘Em All’ and Tom Araya‘s Falsetto scream that heralded the ‘Angel Of Death‘. But while there are plenty of pick screeches, dive bombs and discordant King and Hanneman-esque fret-runs which build up to an epic twin-guitar attack at the close of the song, the vocals have more of a Punk Rock bark. The call and response gang chants keep Deceased‘s sound firmly rooted in the Hardcore underground that spawned them in the way that Integrity‘s earliest work sounded like the missing link between Judge and Slayer.
‘Resurrection‘ maintains the intensity, predominantly thrashing onward but breaking into a groove that’s more reminiscent of the band’s earlier material. Some crucial riffage links a blistering solo with a return to high-speed galloping to close the track. The production is raw, but the drums sound huge and accentuate the hard-hitting dynamics whether they’re grooving or galloping.
While ‘Grim‘ has an introductory section that recalls ‘Raining Blood‘, overall it’s a track that sounds more like a darkened take on ’90s Hardcore. Like All Out War or Ringworm before them, here Deceased showcases that it’s not just Metal’s rhythms and riffs which they can pull off proficiently, it’s capturing the dark horror and occult inspired vibes. Lyrically ‘Grim’ reads like an old school Hardcore diatribe against betrayal with a warning of retribution, but with a killer refrain of “I am forever”, there are more poetic turns of phrase than the traditional venting against friends who “stab you in the back”.
‘Stomp‘ is more of a mid-tempo ripper than the name would suggest, with a propulsive buildup and the perfect twostep-in-the-pit-inducing breakdown. The lyrics are more succinct, instead leaving the band to rear back at various points before charging towards a further bludgeoning. One could imagine it closing out the band’s live set with one final cathartic gasp, but here it adds a sense of finality, even at only five songs in.
If there’s one criticism that could be leveled against ‘The Void Of No Return‘, it’s that in a hair under 13 minutes, this ferocious set of songs gets the listener amped and leaves them wanting more. One can argue that it is better to press play again than it is to press stop. Few heavy bands can take as long a break as Deceased did and come back with more aggression and a release that showcases some unbelievably tight musicianship. Here’s hoping for more music in future from the band, perhaps with a longer runtime for the group to further explore this new sound with their renewed sense of purpose.