American death/thrash legends Deceased first released ‘Fearless Undead Machines’ in 1997 on Relapse, and it was a landmark record in a genre that was just starting to come into fruition. A lot of early death metal was just extreme thrash, but there became bands who took that blend and ran with it. Deceased have been lucky enough to get this and two other full lengths rereleased on Transcending Obscurity Classics, and a whole new audience will become victims of the zombie death machine!
Opener ‘The Silent Creature’ is a monster, with riffs piling atop each other while tales of zombie apocalypses and death roar above galloping thrash. The morbid atmospheres are pierced by razor sharp guitar work, and Deceased have this explosive edge to them that is missing in a lot of thrash records. Taking cues from the songwriting prowess of early Metallica, Deceased show that it doesn’t have to be hell for leather all the time. ‘Contaminated’ sets up more of the zombie storytelling, which invokes ’28 Days Later’ zombies rather than ‘Dawn of the Dead’ with the furious speed of the title track, and the thrashing relentlessness of ‘Graphic Repulsion’.
Deceased are one of those bands who, even almost 20 years since the release of this record, have material that more than stands up to today’s releases. The riffing and guitar work is inspired, inventive and remorseless. ‘Fearless Undead Machines’ is one of those underrated gems that has probably done a lot more for modern metal than everyone realises. You’ll recognise a lot of these riffs from bands that have come since, and for that alone it should be a record you get a hold of, because it is hugely influential.