Intoxicated
Walled EP

Artist: Intoxicated

I’m gonna start by apologizing for what is going to be a lot of backstory before I even get the review started in proper… but this is pretty fucking cool!

So recently, I did a review of Witches’ KILLER new album The Fates. Not only was it a discovery of an album that will very much contend for a spot on my 2020 year-end list, but also provided me with a veritable motherload of super interesting metal history trivia. Not only have they been operating, totally unbeknownst to me, for 34 years (!) – they were also France’s first death/thrash metal band to feature a female lead singer/guitarist. Cool stuff! This sent me down a wild, tangling rabbit hole of metal history that I’ve still yet to surface from. Tell my wife and dog I’m fine and I love them.

I mention this because it was while in that mind frame, that I came across this EP from Florida-based death-thrashers Intoxicated – another band I had never heard of, but quickly discovered they’d been kicking around since 1990. Here we go again! But the story behind this band gets even cooler, because as it turns out, there’s a very good reason I’d never heard of this band before… but I, and very likely you, HAVE heard this band before, albeit in a very different capacity.

Confused, yet? Cool. Stick with me.

So throughout the early 90’s, Intoxicated released 3 demos – one of which, Drain, was actually recorded by the band’s good friend, our lord and savior, Chuck Schuldiner. This isn’t strictly important to the story, but it does add to their mystique and make you wonder how a band liked that much by Chuck could have kept so far under the radar. What IS important, is that EP featured Obituary guitarist and songwriter, Trevor Peres.

When Obituary went on hiatus in ’97, drummer Donald Tardy joined Intoxicated and played with the band for nearly 4 years (this is where it gets crazy). It was then that up-and-coming party-rocker Andrew W.K., a huge obituary fan, approached Tardy to be in his band. Tardy played the role of very fucking good wingman, and got everyone in Intoxicated hired into Mr. W.K.’s backing band.

And this, friends, is why Intoxicated have flown so far under the radar for so long – because they’ve been too busy serving as the Andrew W.K. “I Get Wet” band this entire time. Party Hard? These dudes. She Is Beautiful? Yep, these very guys. We Want Fun? Yes. All of it.

Trevor Peres and Donald Tardy have since brought back Obituary from the dead, but Intoxicated core members, guitarist Erik Mayne and bassist Gregg Roberts, along with new drummer Erik Payne, have kicked the tires and wiped the dust off this old project and brought us a fun, fast and furious EP that hits all the right Floridian metal notes, while adding a touch of east coast crossover attitude that gives it an extra punch in the nuts.

While more firmly entrenched in the world of thrash than most of their other statesmen, their Florida roots still shine through pretty clearly. Death, Massacre, Monstrosity – those sounds are all crawling around in here and permeating through the band’s more thrashy, upbeat delivery.  “Smash The Line” may start the album with fast, invigorating riffing and thrashy barking vocals, but it doesn’t take long for the band to slow things down and break into a more rumbling, technical death metal paces ala-Spiritual Healing or Leprosy.

It’s a balance found throughout the EP’s 6 songs – beer-chugging, gutter-aesthetic Thrash and Speed, broken up with little death metal breaks that give these quick-hitters a lot of surprising depth – in some ways making them seem longer than they really are (the longest tapping out a tick below 4 minutes). Title track “Walled” comes out of the gate like a hot iron-branded cheetah before settling into a still-breakneck, but slightly more subdued pace that slaps you in the face and sweeps your legs out from beneath you before you even get a chance to know what’s happening. It ends with a fuckin sweet little Slayer-ish two-step that’s just pure joy and fun.

The bruising “4-Hells Reward” and “Stuck In Mode” put a slight role-reversal on the formula, relying more on plodding, crushing heft with quick, blasting breaks in the action, both complete with two of the albums thickest breakdowns that pummel you and leaves your neck sore. These are by no means extreme changes in tempo, but they serve nicely to change the pacing of the album and allow the speedier parts to seethe with even more venom.

I realize that was A LOT of setup for a relatively short review – but truth is there’s not much point in getting too fussy about this EP’s details. This is a good, solid, entertaining slab of old school thrashy death metal that’s short on frills for good reason. The years of collective experience with these dudes shines through brilliantly in an otherwise dirty, grimy exterior, and I’m once again gifted with an interesting bit of metal trivia to go along with what is truly a cool, authentic display of death metal done well. If you like your Florida metal, you gotta check this one out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
July 31st, 2020

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