Overkill
From the Underground and Below


4.0
excellent

Review

by BlackLlama USER (40 Reviews)
November 9th, 2012 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A last gasp of air before heading into the suffocating funk that Overkill wallowed in for the ensuing thirteen years, Underground is a worthwhile release that gets lost in the bands massive catalogue.

Hi, I am the Black Llama and I am an Overkill junkie. Getting that out of the way, I have listened to a lot of Overkill over my 34 years of life and the bands (nearing) 40 years. There have been highs and lows and everything in between. From their punk thrash roots of the early 80’s the band evolved into a thrash powerhouse in the late 80’s and early 90’s peaking in 1991 with the release of Horrorscope. The albums that followed were all excellent in their own right, but that is a hard mountain to climb, and the band would not do so again until 2010. One cannot simply write off the bands work between those two separate peaks, there were a lot of fine offerings during that time period. That brings us to Overkill in 1997. Music and metal in particular were going in odd directions. Power metal was starting to rise from bands overseas and in the US post grunge and nu metal were taking over the landscape.

After releasing Horrorscope Blitz and the boys had been playing around with different styles on each record. While they all maintained the feel of an “Overkill” album, each brought a mixture of new and old elements to the table. From the groove oriented pace of I Hear Black to the very thrashy W.F.O. followed by the modern (at the time) influences that were heard on The Killing Kind they were always a band that was willing to throw something new into the mix. From the Underground and Below was a rare bird even for a band prone to experimenting with their sound.

Retaining drummer Tim Mallare (whose work really shines on this release) Blitz and DD kept the guitar duo of Sebastian Marino (former Anvil) and relative new-comer Joe Comeau. The frantic riffage and blues based soloing of both brings this album to life and the blend of thrash and groove make for an excellent listening experience. It’s hard to find new things to say about the bass stylings of one DD Verni, he is the dark, beating heart of this band, and this release is no different from any other. Blitz pours out the vitriol on this release, and some of his grittiest song writing is on display here. Long Time Dying is one of the best, shout along songs that Overkill has put out on over 16 albums. An interesting note here is the 2nd to last song, Promises which is a straight up metal ballad. Yes, Overkill recorded a ballad (don’t worry mom, it’s still heavy) and in a rare feat they actually manage to make it sincere and plausible. The guitar tone on this release is top notch. Concentric layers of warmth and heaviness make it sound as if there are 10 guitarists playing on this release instead of two.

It is a shame that this album is so easily lost in Overkill’s catalogue. It is an overlooked gem that had it been released at a different time would have garnered the attention it deserves.



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user ratings (99)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
BlackLlama
November 8th 2012


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I played this a ton when it came out. I was thinking of doing the whole Overkill discog. but there's only so much negative shit I can write about Kill Box 13 and ReliXIV

PsychicChris
November 8th 2012


217 Comments


Love Overkill but still haven't gotten around to this one. The Killing Kind and Necroshine was both great 90s metal albums in my opinion.

BlackLlama
November 8th 2012


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

havnt checked this band hardly at all

Start with Feel The Fire, then Years of Decay, Horrorscope, This and then Iron Bound. That should give you a feel for each era of the band.

listen to FUCT if you want the highlight off of this album

Absolutely.


Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2012


20068 Comments


don't bother with pestiferous he gave the years of decay a 3 there's something wrong with him :P

nice review haven't heard this one yet

Digging: Circa Survive - Descensus

ViperAces
November 9th 2012


12485 Comments


didnt like this one AT ALL actually

BlackLlama
November 9th 2012


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This and the album that preceded it (The Killing Kind) split a lot of the Overkill fan base.

BlackLlama
November 9th 2012


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just as long as you stay way the hell away from Necroshine to Immortalis. Well, not way the hell away, but keep it like creepy guy with a van distance from you.


Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 9th 2012


20068 Comments


Lmao I actually heard necroshine yesterday.

BlackLlama
November 9th 2012


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm a huge Overkill nut and that entire run really doesn't do it for me. Even the Killing Kind, which has some great tracks it's on my list of favorites.

FTF to Underground and then the 2 new ones I can listen to all day.


KILL
November 9th 2012


72086 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gd album

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

Nipple
November 9th 2012


759 Comments


gr8 album

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 11th 2013


20068 Comments


cool band. trying to make it through their entire discog

BlackLlama
February 12th 2013


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good luck after this point Atari.. the next like 4 albums are (personally) their worst.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2013


20068 Comments


@BlackLlama,

so far i don't hate any of their albums even their weaker ones are prolly a 3 for me but still haven't heard them all.

My favorites to date are definitely Feel The Fire, Horrorscope, and Decay

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2013


20068 Comments


man F.U.C.T. rules

BlackLlama
February 25th 2013


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Overkill is my 3rd favorite band for any genre and I still rate their early 2000's stuff as like 2/2.5 at best.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2013


20068 Comments


Yeah I haven't been able to make it through all their discography but this one is definitely overlooked.

DirtBagDan
February 25th 2013


582 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

one of their worst albums.



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