Five years after the release of their self-titled debut album, the barbarous death metal duo from southern Vancouver Island who call themselves Altered Dead are at last ready for the release of their sophomore album, fittingly named Returned To Life. It will be released by two celebrants of slaughtering sound, with Memento Mori handling the CD release on January 25th and Fucking Kill Records discharging vinyl editions on February 28th. And today it’s our sadistic pleasure to share with you the perverse pleasures of a track from the new record named “Thrawing In Agony“.
Altered Dead‘s approach to death metal draws upon the influences of such progenitors as Autopsy, Death Breath, Grave, Asphyx, Darkthrone, Unleashed, Exhumed, and Carnage. Hallowed names indeed, and suggestive of the fact that Altered Dead interweave within their spine-shivering art varying takes on the most grim and ghastly death metal formulations, and therefore don’t sound like clones of anyone. Even more impressive is that only two people are responsible for such mutilating ravages of sound.
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the word “thrawing”, as we were. A bit of research reveals that it’s a chiefly Scottish word that means ‘twisting” or “turning”, and in context the song title could be understood as something like “writhing in agony”. Certainly, the music is a twisting and turning affair.
Wasting no time, the band set loose an attack of battering drums and a jagged, jabbing, viciously distorted riff. The assault soon gives way to dismal, groaning, oppressive chords but then surges ahead again in even more savaged and deranged fashion. Accompanied by a tandem of imperious guttural roars and flensing screams, the music continues to morph, ranging from sensations of cold, drilling cruelty to sounds of angular, darting mania and blaring feverishness, as the drums whip around between tumbling fills, outbursts of blasting ferocity, and neck-punching back-beats.
The entire experience is savage, punishing, and freakish, with enough mangled hooks to make it stick in your head and just enough filthiness in the production to give the music a feeling of abrasive ugliness and a corrosive impact.
“Thrawing in Agony” is the third track to be revealed from Returned To Life, and below we’ve included streams of the first two (“Returned To Life” and “Prosodemic Realms”). Matt Sidney gets credit for the eye-catching and evocative cover art, and Loïc Fontaine should take a bow for his mastering work at Krucyator Studio in France.
As mentioned above, Memento Mori will provide the album’s CD release on January 25th, and on February 28th Fucking Kill will release 200 hand-numbered 180-gram vinyl copies (100 slimy green, 100 black). For ordering info, check the links below.