Review Summary: If ever one wanted to be recommended an album which would define Deceased's individual style, As the Weird travel on would definitely be it.
By 2005 Deceased had been around for over two decades, released two career-changing albums and been highly regarded as one of the more well-respected bands owned by the ever-burgeoning record label Relapse Records. Despite this, Deceased still to this day think of themselves as a cult metal band rather than a highly inspirational one, however excellent albums such as As the Weird travel on
have proved to be. The band's fifth album proper actually marked the first big change in Deceased's career. The band finally left Relapse Records for the lesser known Thrash Corner Records, and vocalist/drummer King Fowley, having decided to concentrate fully on his position as a frontman as opposed to a multi-instrumentalist naturally meant that someone else was needed to fill in for drumming duties. Whilst this only really changed the band's live performances as opposed to in the studio, the general sound on As the Weird travel on
is considerably different from what you would have heard on albums such as Supernatural Addiction
The guitar work definitely seems a lot more melodic, and has much more in common with the likes of Iron Maiden than it does with classic death metal. Fowley sounds much more natural when trying to adopt a more guttural vocal range, and the rhythm section sounds tighter and more solid than ever before. The instrumentation on the album's longer songs such as belligerent opener “The Kept” and distinctively horror-themed closer “Fright” (Perhaps named after the British cult horror film of the early 70s) always proves extremely solid and appropriately well composed. Solos are more frequent and don't just appear after the second chorus of each song, instead at some points choosing to blow the listener's mind the moment “The Funeral Parlour's Secret” or “Missing a Pulse” starts.
Above all, it's really the progression of each song which makes Deceased's fifth album as excellent as it is. This isn't anything new of course, given that the band had experimented in this way from as far back as 1995 for the production of Fearless undead Machines
, but it still shows the band's confidence and improves the general musical performance. “A Visit from Dread” is the greatest example of this, where Deceased combine influences from their death metal past with a more straightforward heavy metal sound, resulting in a style that is almost definitely the band's own. This experimentation also helps the shorter songs to eschew any filler-based material in favour of consistent songwriting. The beginnings of “Unwanted Memories (It always ends in Tears)” and “Craving Illness” make for a slightly unsettling sound and even hint at attempting a much softer musical tone, before those familiarly lengthy riffs enter and you realize that it is still Deceased after all.
There's nothing else to say about As the Weird travel on
that you can't say about the band's two other equally as superb albums, Fearless undead Machines
and Supernatural Addiction
, because all three of these records have been known to utilize Deceased's well-worked musical progression, crafting excellent song structures and showing seamless musicianship. The only slight downfall for the band's fifth album is the way in which a couple of shorter songs stick to the same formula which has been worked on in the past numerously, but even this can be ignored for the sheer consistency of the album's general sound.