Altered Dead – Returned to Life (Review)

Altered Dead - Returned to LifeThis is the second album from Canadian death metal act Altered Dead.

Altered Dead play old-school death metal that’s raw, filthy, and exceedingly nasty. Rising from the underground like some form of malformed monster, Returned to Life is a 35-minute slab of ugly death metal that is highly enjoyable.

The songs are hideous exemplars of traditional death metal, mutated and twisted into the foul entities that are presented here on Returned to Life. Tearing into the world with crushing mid-paced groove, blasting brutality, or a number of different speeds and modes of assault, these songs make their mark. As well as showing a keen mastery of the foundations of old-school death metal, the band also occasionally delve into the depths of doom, dragging the listener with them as they create a sickening miasma of grim darkness.

Altered Dead’s music takes strength from classic death metal’s considerable range of songwriting staples and uses these to forge an identity of its own. Underneath the band’s gloomy murk and infected bite lurk actual songs, with killer riffs, catchy hooks, and memorable moments aplenty. Yes, despite their intimidating veneer, Altered Dead know their genre very well, and have produced an album that encourages repeat spins as it crushes and maims you with its potent delivery.

Returned to Life is a very strong album indeed. It ends with A Celtic Frost cover, (Into the Crypts of Rays), but as you’ve no doubt heard this song a million times before in one form or another, the real attraction here is Altered Dead’s own material. Returned to Life is disgusting and horrible in the best of ways; this is old-school death metal done right.

Very highly recommended for any death metal fan.

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