Deceased: Behind the Mourner’s Veil

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Deceased: Behind the Mourner’s Veil
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Deceased: Behind the Mourner's Veil
Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Relapse Records
July 24th, 2001
Release length: 27:59
Myspace
Website
Youtube
Shortly after the successful Paranormal Addiction, Deceased went back into the studio with some new material to record a follow-up companion EP entitled Behind the Mourner’s Veil. Sadly, this EP was not as widely received as the full-length it supports, but it could be for the majority of the content. The EP features two unreleased tracks in the same vein as the previous effort, as well as a few cover tracks, a nearly eleven minute song about The West Memphis Three, as well as a bonus video on the enhanced portion of the disc. But, what is it about this EP that found many fans not necessarily paying so much attention?

Unlike the more crisp and clear audio quality of Paranormal Addiction, Behind the Mourner’s Veil has a more raw and bass-heavy sound. The guitars sound good but feel slightly muffled with an audio quality that feels more like it came from the eighties then the time period this was released. The drums sound great, again the kicks have that slightly click but still a heavy thud, and the bass is pretty dominant in the entire mix. The vocal performance is about the same as Paranormal Addiction as well, but a rhaspier yet harmonized effort, though it shows greater range through energy, something also felt in the music, as well as in going from louder and screaming to a much deeper sound to accompany the clearer rhasp utilized. The variety in vocals really shines through right at the start of “It’s Alive” which is a lot rougher vocally then the more cleaner sounding “The Mausoleum”.

But the vocals do often match the attitude and atmosphere fo the song. “The Mausoleum” continues the more grim and gothic horror style from the previous effort with a faster Thrash oriented track and Death Metal aggression, giving an energetic performance that goes between the shouting and cleaner styles, coming off more intense at times then other when it’s clearly needed. However, it’s the first track that really sets up an atmosphere for the original recordings of the EP. The more brutal, in-your-face Death Metal approach the band utilizes here takes the rawer production and uses it well against a more energetic yet sinister sounding track with cleaner vocals, but often performed in a much harsher tone and even deeper, pushing towards guttural at times. The vocals come off with a more traditional harmonized rhasp to it, but that’s in effort to match the more melodic chorus thanks to the hooks being execute by the guitar. Of course, these have that grim atmosphere the band is known for at this point, whereas the songs that follow don’t really carry that same vibe.

Deceased actually tries to bring in their own sound for these covers, but ultimately just winds up conforming to the source material a bit too much to retain a signature sound to them. “Zombie Attack” has a more traditional harsher vocal approach that is not highlighted on “It’s Alive” or “The Mausoleum”, and even the vocals are further back in the mix with a heavy echo while there are guttural gang chants done that are much louder. The music retains the source material well and feels a little faster in comparison, but still has enough of an edge to really hit the listener, but the performance as a whole, partly due to the production quality, just doesn’t really have enough in it to make the listener want to experience the song again after that initial first time through. Of course the same can instantly be said about “Reaganomics”, but that’s more for the quickened Punk pace and short track length. “Deathrider” is also not the greatest cover, but the song is still executed well and enjoyable for what it is. The band does a good job at capturing the speed of the track, but the rebellious attitude of it just really isn’t there. Of all these songs, it’s the Warfare cover of “New Age of Total Warfare” the band does a great job at emulating, sticking closer to the source material and really having that rebellious aggression to it that makes the song far more catchy and energetic.

“Victims of the Masterplan”, however, is where the album really shines. This sort of re-telling and a personal perspective on the plight of The West Memphis Three (three fans of metal in a small religious town accused of murder and still fighting charges to this day, though this is something many fans of Metal in this day are aware of and disgusted by), and is told in five different parts. Each part presents a new chapter of the song, and the music does nicely change up a little bit between certain chapters with good transitions, but for the most part seem to come right back to the initial sound that the song starts off with. There’s no real special part of even bad element of the song, as the entire track moves fluidly from start to finish and highlights the band’s abilities well, while reminding us all of the evil’s in the world that still exist today from those who don’t understand the core values of Metal and why so many listen to it today. On top of this nice touch to the EP, there’s also the music video for “Elly’s Dementia” off Paranormal Addiction, but you will need to put the disc into a computer to watch it.

Overall, Behind the Mourner’s Veil is not a bad companion piece, but it’s proof Deceased should definitely stick to original material when it comes to studio recordings. All three original tracks on here are fantastic, especially “Victims of the Master Plan” which is something that many fans of Metal know of all too well in the first place, and those who do all have an opinion on it. Int he end though, the cover songs are really not that great, and the production was a little more raw then you would hope for since it does hold the album back a bit. Fans of Deceased will enjoy much of Behind the Mourner’s Veil, and those who don’t have it bu want it or Paranormal Addiction can probably find copies of the two albums that were reissued together in a box set (with both albums in original artwork and their own cases) for a modest price. Is it an EP that will stick with you for a while? Not really, but there’s still a couple tracks that will have you coming back time and time again.

01. It’s Alive – 4:08
02. The Mausoleum – 4:58
03. Zombie Attack (Tankard cover) – 3:04
04. Reaganomics (D.R.I. cover) – 0:36
05. New Age of Total Warfare (Warfare cover) – 2:16
06. Deathrider (Anthrax cover) – 2:56
07. Victims of the Masterplan – 10:01
Overall Score: 7/10
Deceased (band)
Deceased
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.