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Arguably Their Best Album - 98%

J1993B, November 8th, 2007

First off, I'd like to say how much this album surprised me. I thought this would be another mediocre release, like "Relixiv". Instead, this is probably their darkest and heaviest album since "The Years of Decay". . .

"Devils in the Mist" kicks things off with a bang. It sounds a lot like "A Pound of Flesh" from "Relixiv", but faster! The verses are also very Slayer-like (guitar wise)."What It Takes" is very, very heavy. It starts with a simple single-chord riff, and then turns into one hell of a thrasher! The verses in this song sound almost exactly like those found on “Loaded Rack” of “Relixiv”. It’s almost like a combination of Pantera and Gustafson-era Overkill."Skull & Bones" is yet another great thrasher, though a bit slower than the last two. It features vocals from Randy Blythe of "Lamb of God", along with Blitz. They sound like exact opposites, but the combination works great here. The screaming in this song by Blythe is very death metal-like.Then there's "Hellish Pride" a cool song with an evil as hell chorus that also contains some acoustics to add to the feeling of darkness. It's probably the 2nd slowest song here. "Hellish Pride" also reminds me of the intro to "80 Cycles" (Off of “Necroshine”), riff-wise.A sweet bass intro brings us to "Head On", the slowest song here. I personally like it, but I can imagine why others wouldn't. It is also very doom, more than "Hellish Pride". But this song does get kind of faster before the solo, which is another great one. Great, sludgy, riffs throughout this one."Hell Is" is yet another doom-type song, but after the doom verses comes the lightning fast chorus. A unique but heavy song, and another great vocal performance on this one, too. Those backup vocals yelling "We condemned!" are catchy as hell!Here it is: "Overkill V. . . The Brand", probably Overkill's darkest song yet. Blitz shows his evilest vocals on here, and the guitar duo of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer play the heaviest riffs on the album. “The Brand” is, in my opinion, the best song of the Overkill series.

Now then, on to the production. The guitars are the loudest part of the mix. This is good when it comes to the rhythms, but the solos are way too loud. This is a huge complaint on the intros to “Chalie Get You Gun” and “Hell Is”. DD Verni’s bass is pretty audible for the most part, and it doesn’t always follow the guitars! Hooray for originality! Lipnicki’s drums are insane. God, this guy plays like a gorilla on crack! (That’s a good thing!) My only complaint with the drums is that they sound too weak. Finally, Blitz’s voice is what makes this album so dark and evil. He still has the high-pitched voice that we all know and love, but he sings in a deeper voice for the most part here. This is probably best demonstrated on “Hellish Pride” and “Overkill V”. In other words, the production is a whole lot better than that of “Relixiv”.

All in all, this is probably Overkill’s best album containing guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, if not their best ever.