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A monster of blood and steel... - 95%

Snxke, July 6th, 2004

This record has commonly been lambasted as being among the worst records in Overkill's catalog. Sadly for those poor rubes...I am forced to disagree. The records imposing vocals, brutal-but-bluesy guitar-thrash and brilliant lyrics the record sounds more intelligent, vibrant and dare I say violent than they have ever been. The swirling bog of guitars and the mixed vocals just create a sense of chaos previously unheard in the Overkill catalog. By switching their thrash for a more death oriented blues-chug our old NYC stalwarts brought their distinctive hooks to a whole new style of playing. Despite many whining rants, this record is CLEARLY Overkill. It can't be seen as anything less...as the vocals and bass sound alone define the mix.

This is Overkill at their deadliest...despite whatever the bullet-belted clones may wish to decree.

Of the songs...it's hard to pick favorites. The monstrous "It Lives" following the religious-bashing "Save Me" both churn with extended power. "Long Time Dyin'" and "Promises" both show tons of amazing riffs and the rest follows suit. I can say little to disparage this record as it clangs, groans, grunts, slishes and dices through your speakers much like a wild animal. The riffs are textured, the lyrics and vocal melodies unique...there is little more that one metal band who "updated" their sound could do. If Exhorder, Black Sabbath and traditional Overkill got in a strange child-birthing mood THIS record would be the result.

Imposing and intelligent...bluesy and ballsy..."From the Underground and Below" is a lost metal classic. The artwork even shows the right side of the band by creating an image the music deserves.

...in the end Overkill will NEVER fail us. If you love them (and I do) they will continue to push out the best of what they do best...and it's pretty much only something they do. Blitz and D.D. did it again!

BUY OR DIE.

http://www.wreckingcrew.com