Boston, Mass. has developed into the center of generic post-thrash mislabled as metalcore for so long it's hard to remember back when bands from the area played real metalcore and for the most part didn't suck.
One of these bands is Overcast, formed in 1991, and consisting of members better known for their work in bands such as Killswitch Engage, Seemless, Transient, and Shadows Fall, Overcast brought an aggressive mix of energetic hardcore punk and crunching thrash metal for the short period of time between 1991-1997.
Brian Fair (vocals)
Scott McCooe (guitar)
Pete Cortese (guitar)
Mike D'Antonio (bass)
Jason Fitzgerald (drums)
Fight Ambition To Kill was Overcast's last album, and let me tell you right off the bat that it's absolutely wonderful.
From the first track (Apocolypse Upon Us) you know it's gonna be something wonderful, Mike D'Antonio (Killswitch Engage) plays a haunting bass intro whiles Scott McCooe (Transient) and Pete Cortese (Seemless, ex-Killswitch Engage) harmonize in an equally creepy manner. A bit in Brian Fair (Shadows Fall) joins in with some powerful growling, and then it picks up into a very thrashy segment, Fair sounding very much like James Hetfield at one moment and [Whoracle-era] Anders Fridén the next. From there on the album keeps up a beautiful balance of thrash metal and hardcore punk. At 2:45 we go into a breakdown, and we can see where one of the many mix-ups of breakdowns as a part of hardcore began, from there it bursts into a nice hardcore segment, Brian singing at first and then switching to growling.
Spun starts out with another powerful aggressive intro, with little mini-breakdowns here and there, Fair taking up very early, D'Antonio doesn't join in until later, at the same time where McCooe and Cortese bring a nice melody in, but the bassline is quite a treat. Then about half way through the song changes, getting much heavier and brutal, with little islands of the haunting style showcased at the beginning of the last track thrown in.
The rest of the album follows suit switching between a classic hardcore sound, some fast-paced thrash, the now generic brutal breakdowns, and melodic guitar parts. Throughout the whole album I didn't pay much attention to the drumming, but when I went back and did, I realized that Fitzgerald is quite talented. Rather than doing the ever present double bass rolls only, he throws in small bursts as a part of a much groovier beat. The musicians abilities are especially showcased in the instrumental, Styrofoam Death Machine... an ever changing amalgamation of so many styles it's unbelievable.
Lyrically, the album takes on the approach more common to hardcore, oftentimes covering topics of anger towards power and rebellion.
Apocolypse Upon Us
Filter Of Syntax
Sytrofoam Death Machine
Seven Foot Grin