Overkill
Horrorscope


5.0
classic

Review

by BlackLlama USER (40 Reviews)
July 20th, 2012 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A love letter to the magnum opus of Jersey bred thrashers Overkill. Stripping away their slightly cartoony nature reveals the monster of metal that lurks beneath.

I will preface this by stating that I have had a love hate relationship with Overkill for many years. Love their earlier work (Feel the Fire, Years of Decay) and can’t really stomach much of the late century recordings (Bloodletting, Killbox13). Their last two efforts have been above and beyond my expectations for the 20 plus year old band. That is not what this review is about however. Overkill was always viewed as a “not quite” band. They were known on the metal scene, but “not quite” on the level of Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer. They were known for being an almost cartoonish thrash band with songs like Wrecking Crew and Hello From the Gutter. In 1989 they released the Years of Decay and the first whispers of the winds of change were felt. After parting ways with guitarist and songwriter Bobby Gustafson the band entered the studio to work on their next release. Blitz and D.D. (perennial cast members in the movie that is Overkill) hired on Merritt Gant and promoted guitar tech Rob Cannavino. Along with the highly, technically proficient drummer Sid Falck the band laid down what is considered by many fans a thrash metal masterpiece.

I recall buying this on cassette tape when it came out back in ’91. The first melodious strains of Coma started streaming into my headphones and I was completely unaware of the insanity that awaited me. 53 minutes later I turned the tape back over and started again. Gone were the humorous undertones of the previous albums. In their place were thick, layered melodies topped with astounding leads, precision bass work and some of the most technical drumming that I had experienced. Blitz had tweaked his vocals from the high shrieking wails into something much more sinister, lending a darker tone to the album overall.

I would spend time talking about all of the highlights, but I don’t subscribe to the track by track method. Needless to say, for metal fans, everything you could ever ask for is here in spades. Coma, Bare Bones, Blood Money, Live Young, Die Free all exude old school thrash in all of its glory. Technical and layered with a master’s proficiency they will satisfy even the most jaded of metal fans. It is the deeper cuts into the album where Overkill really makes their mark. The title track is one of the darkest, most brooding songs the band has ever recorded. Sid Falck has stated many times that the only reason he played Thrash Metal was to challenge him self musically. This track, over any that he recorded with the band shows him at his best. If a song can have a soul, this one is black and twisted with a tormented glee. There is an instrumental cover of ‘Frankenstein’ (originally by Edgar Winter) that is, dare I say, better than the original. Closing out the experience are 2 separate tracks that bond together with a refrain to form a devastatingly excellent piece of music. To this day, after arguably thousands of plays, I still get a chill the moment Blitz’s layered screams start up Nice Day for a Funeral. Each song (the previously mentioned and Soulitude) has it’s own style and structure, yet in the end, they meet to close out what I consider to be as close to perfect as an album can get.

Needless to say, if you are a metal fan and have not listened to this yet, go do so now. You owe it to yourself to experience Overkill at their very best. On a list of Metal albums that you must hear before you die, this would rank in my top five.



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user ratings (310)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
ImTheOnlyThugInTheBuildin (4)
Overkill show marvelously that thrash was not dead following 1990 with a fantastic follow-up to The ...

Drew Tyler (4)
A satisfying and excellent end of an era for Overkill....

RCA (4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BlackLlama
July 20th 2012


1668 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Sorry, 4 and 4.5 just didn't cut it. This one NEEDED a 5 review. Over 20 years later and this album still slays.

Digging: Stigmata - Do Unto Others

KILL
July 20th 2012


71795 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dayum

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

ThrashTillDeath94
July 20th 2012


595 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude i fuckin love this review, stay true bro. m/

TheNotrap
July 20th 2012


8070 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Album rules, have a pos.

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

facupm
July 21st 2012


7672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

excellent review

ZedO
July 21st 2012


1096 Comments


thrashin' hard

ZombicidalMan
July 21st 2012


1801 Comments


Great review, haven't listened to this one - or Overkill - in a long time. Better change that m/

justapunk
July 22nd 2012


3 Comments


Awesome review, need to listen to this

FadeToBlack
September 28th 2012


10926 Comments


COMA

ViperAces
September 28th 2012


12430 Comments


...coma...
...coma...
...coma...

FadeToBlack
September 28th 2012


10926 Comments


m/

ViperAces
September 28th 2012


12430 Comments


Pretty good review, and album too. This moves between 4 and 4.5 for me.
In my opinion the production on TYOD was better, and the songwriting was better too; but I allways had
a warm spot in my heart for Technical/Progressive Thrash. This is more straight-forward Thrash which I
dig less.

BTW: You wrote 'solitude' instead of 'soulitude' In the third par.

Oh and WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF A NEW MACHINNEE!!



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