When it comes to the death metal scene in Canada, bands come to mind are from the biggest and heavy hitters in the genres we all come to respect. Anywhere from Beyond Creation, Gorguts, Kataklysm, Tomb Mold and the list continues on and so fourth. But the underground scene for death, black and subgenres of metal coming out of Canada is generally favorable by many critics in the scene and this band here, Altered Dead, a death metal band from Victoria, British Columbia Canada who’s been active in the underground since 2013 and have came back to release their sophomore album through Memento Mori titled Returned To Life. If I were to describe this band it be a wide mixture of Autopsy, Exhumed, Carnage, Asphyx, and older Celtic Frost but with a cavernous, lurky, gloomy, sophisticated style of death metal but have some grind and doom metal passages.
With this album, they’ve contributed themselves to create major influences borrowing elements from the late 90’s to mid 2000’s era of death metal specifically in the veins of Unleashed and Grave due to the twisted, engrossing, physical and mental conflict of the most gruesome, disgusting and deciphering patterns of vocals that I can remember in sometime. But from the amazing album artwork, this album is filled with chaos, destruction, despair and swallowing innocent souls to make your shivering spine feel cold and useless. Songs for example such as Mental Suicide, Thrawing In Agony, Into The Crypt Of Rays, Rotting Onwards and Empostomb introduces some fascinating guitar melodies, stronger emphasizes on drumming, audible bass structures and vocals reminiscent of 90’s to mid 2000’s of death metal these musicians have not only done a fantastic job balancing out the amazing components and compositions being delivered here but keeping the progression, instrumentation and lyricism very well diversified where each instrument doesn’t strife away within the mixing department being one of the best highlights upon hearing this amazing articulating structure.
Altered Dead has identified naturalistic signatures which is embedded to make outstanding arrangements where you can see how far they’ve taken their devotion onto death metal to the next level. Songwriting wise, the members from this band has also incorporated some atmospheric layers of memorable contexts which symbolizes this beautifully designed album which took many dedicated outcomes to really understand and comprehend the intelligence these young musicians has brought the extreme metal music a much rather experimented, powerfully driven and a rollercoaster so impacted, this album is an absolute behemoth of a listen beginning to the end. Returned To Life is shaping up to be one of the most modernized, well structured, dynamic and polished sounding extreme metal releases of 2021 and I strongly suggest you go listen and pick up a copy if you want a record that’ll satisfy your hunger for good ol’ meat and potatoes style of death metal.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Jake Butler