|Death Metal, Thrash Metal
Hells Headbangers (2012), Relapse Records
February 9th, 2000 / October 29th, 2012
Release length: 47:49 / 1:15:57
Well, the production is definitely dramatically better compared to earlier releases, and that does work for the band, but not so much in an effort to make the atmosphere creepier. The overall sound is actually pretty clean with a decent bass presence that can be heard, but feels like it’s in the backseat, while the guitars have a good bite to them with a heavier distortion. The drums on this release are great, sounding natural and what you would expect a kit to sound like for the most part. The snares and cymbals sound fresh and sharp thanks to that cleaner production quality, and the kicks have a good mixture of a thud and slight click. The vocals are more a harsher style with some harmonization going on, which works with the styles incorporated, but also still retaining that Death Metal bite to it when the songs gear towards that sound.
The track lengths are also worth noting, as these songs really have more depth to them this time around. This is shown off nicely with the more melodic start to “The Premonition”, kicking right in with hook-driven music that comes off a mix between modern Melodic Death Metal concepts and even some Heavy Metal, but not afraid to go into two-step driven Thrash elements. The vocals have a nice crisp sound that works against the sharp, somewhat creepy music being played to weave a tale of gothic horror that listeners will instinctively be joining in on, thanks largely to the simpler lyrics for the chorus and how catchy it is against the more serious vibe from the rest of the track.
While the atmospheres to the songs are typically serious and often quite grim, Deceased also throw in some Science Fiction-esque elements. “Frozen Screams”, another more serious track but with some hook-driven guitars throughout, though not as heavy or as many as on the previous track, starts off with some more sci-fi keyboards before hammering into the darker overtones of the tale being performed. Like “The Premonition”, this song is performed with great energy, and is highly catchy, though the chorus feels a little more melancholic and serious in comparison. Some of the later guitar chords in the bridges are haunting in a vaguely similar manner to the opening keyboards. The band also includes some audio samples that typically start off the track, such as in the case of “Doll With the Hideous Spirit.” Though rarely used, they do often suit the lyrical content of the song and the general tale being told, adding to the given atmosphere of the song. In this case, there a far more serious and creepy vibe to it that feels crushing and inescapable. The guitar solos that hit around the half way point does slow down the more sinister vibe for a bit of melody that acts more as a bridge then anything, and while good, don’t really feel like they should have been as simple and melodic as they are. This conflicts slightly with that grim atmosphere, instead giving temporary glimmers of hope and light to the sound.
“Dark Chilling Heartbeat” really sets that grim and gothic tone to those latter two styles with a narrative that is both cruel and haunting, slightly on par with The Tell-Tale Heart. The music for the track is as serious as the tale itself, and the atmosphere matches that gothic touch to the story being woven. “Chambers of the Waiting Blind” doesn’t quite reach that kind of impact, or even “The Hanging Soldier,” which hits prior to it with a stronger grim atmosphere that can sometimes feel a bit unnerving, but it has a more traditional mixture of those two styles. It’s not the most compelling of songs, yet it’s not really a filler track as it still utilizes some strong riffs and a dominant presence all around to keep it interesting. “Elly’s Dementia” is a nice send off that closes the album in a bit of a melancholic sense with a gothic vibe. In the end the song’s slower pace works for the heaviness of the track, but the song doesn’t really seem to have anything too special going for it, becoming another weaker track like “The Hanging Soldier,” though the more intimidating heaviness and atmosphere still makes it enjoyable for the most part.
Twelve years after its release, Supernatural Addiction finds itself being reissued through Hells Headbangers in two different formats. First is the traditional CD version, which is now available, and a latter LP version which will be dropped on January 23rd of next year . This edition does come with five demo recordings more than likely used to sell the record to Relapse, and they honestly can sound great with the rough audio quality. The demo version of “Dark Chilling Heartbeat” will make you wish the entire original pressing was at this rawer production, but some of the faster tracks, like “Frozen Screams,” don’t quite pack the same bite in the long run, coming through a bit sterile. The only major complaint is how the cymbals sound, which don’t quite seem to be as crisp or properly leveled as they should be. Everything else has a nice edge from the rougher audio, and it’s great to hear how the tracks were prior to the final recording, even though there doesn’t seem to be too much different.
Supernatural Addiction is a solid release from start to finish, and it’s understandable why it’s considered one of the band’s strongest efforts. While Deceased has honed their skills into one consistant sound, there are moments of melody and even intensity that can far surpass other tracks on here. Of all the songs, the last two are not the most impressive, but still enjoyable to certain extents. If this isn’t already in your collection, then there’s no time like the present to add it, as the 2012 reissue features five demo recordings fans of Deceased are simply going to love. Of course, whether you grab the CD or vinyl version really depends on your preference of mediums. If you like morbid, creepy music with a narrative, Supernatural Addiction is an album that is well worth looking into, as it’s nearly forty eight minutes of just solid, hard hitting Death Metal that creates a rather experience that will find yourself coming back for more as time goes on.
01. The Premonition – 5:35
02. Dark Chilling Heartbeat – 6:26
03. A Very Familiar Stranger – 5:1`8
04. Frozen Screams – 5:04
05. The Doll with the Hideous Spirit – 5:34
06. The Hanging Soldier – 4:20
07. Chambers of the Waiting Blind – 7:50
08. Elly’s Dementia – 7:42
|Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10
2012 Reissue Score: 9/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.
Digital 2012 Reissue review copy provided by Hells Headbangers.