Sometimes you come across a story in metal that’s so interesting you just can’t believe you’ve never heard it, especially when it originates from a scene that you love so much. In this case we need to cast our minds back to the 1990s and eyes over to Florida, USA. It’s hot…probably, sweaty… probably…I don’t know!… What I do know is that death metal is in one of the best phases it will ever have and Florida is an absolute hot bed of some of the most inspirational bands in the entire genre, which includes Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Cynic, Massacre, Atheist, Solstice, Nocturnus … you get the picture!
Buried within all of this is the band I get to review today and happily shed some more than deserved light on. They’re called Intoxicated and they formed in 1992 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. They released their only full length, Metal Neck, in 1997 and some demo’s, one of which, Drain, featured Trevor Peres of Obituary and was even produced by Chuck Schuldiner himself. Then nothing… for twenty three years. So what happened? Well Donald Tardy, also of Obituary fame, joined Intoxicated in 1997 and one of their biggest fans was none other than ‘Party Hard’ bloody nose enthusiast, and all round nice dude Andrew WK. Yep, you read that right. Andrew, who was just at the start of his career, wanted Donald to join his band and, to cut a long story short, Andrew ended up hiring all of Intoxicated in 1999 to perform with him. This relationship has thus far spanned five records and twenty one years.
So this is just about one of the coolest stories I’d never heard of until now. And have you seen some of the people endorsing this record? Matt Pike, Rick Kosick, Bobby Koelble to name just a few. Anyway, it’s twenty three years since Metal Neck and, minus Donald Tardy whose currently killing it with Obituary, Intoxicated are back with its original line up, plus new drummer Mike Radford and have a brand new EP for us all to rage to titled Walled. The EP boasts killer artwork from David McDermott and Celeste Brown reminding me of all those iconic punk records from the eighties and early nineties such as The Varukers, GBH, Black Flag and so on.
It’s times like these I wish I had hair because this is a head-banging master-class…
The EP kicks off in style with the absolute rager Smash The Line. It’s times like these I wish I had hair because this is a head-banging master-class. The vocals are of the highest order. They’re so clear but with this killer edge reminiscent of the late great Chuck Schuldiner, especially from their, in my opinion, finest album Leprosy. What’s awesome is when Erik Payne adds this gnarly animalistic edge to it like in the openers chorus. It’s full on putrid. The track features these awesome shifts in tone by adding some unique key changes that you don’t often hear in this type of music. It really adds to the excitement. The track is eventually killed off with a scintillating solo. The second and title track, Walled, is the highlight of the record and is the audible equivalent of being punched in the gut. The riffs! The riffs on this thing! It’s one part eighties thrash, the other complete old school death worship. They’re thick and so infectious I’ve had to self isolate.
The whole EP has all these amazing thrash sounding hooks that remind me of Solstice’s classic death thrash self-titled record. With these riffs, Intoxicated immediately make me want to tear my sleeves off and force myself into my busted ass converse high tops, cut off shorts, snap back hat and get ready to tear shit up. The drums across the record are commanding yet controlled and are not to over the top. They help to keep that raw edge from the vocals, guitars and bass lines which just add to the devastation on offer. The rest of the EP is filled with excellent thrash-centric Floridian death metal and closes on the absolute ripper Yuck. There are literally no bad tracks on this thing.
So there is an abundance of OSDM worship out there right now, which is of course awesome, but what is so cool about this record is that it’s been made my some real OG’s from the genre. It reminds me of the Incantation record from this year and the awesome album that Possessed released last year, which was also unleashed after a long hiatus. For me, it just shows that these bands have still got it and they’ve still got a thing to teach all these youngens after all these years. If your super nostalgic and want to hear it done right, and from a group that deserved way more acclaim during their original stint, then please don’t hesitate to check this out. It’s the most fun I’ve had reviewing all year….go buy it!
Scribed by: Matt Alexander