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What does it take to call this album an "old-school thrash album" or a "decent album", for that matter? Well, it surely takes 4 tons of hairy platinum BALLS to classify this piece of batshit as either of those aforementioned.
It is very intriguing how Overkill became one of the top-notch bands in thrash. I could understand why Exodus, Ulysses Siren or Vio-Lence were big names, but Overkill? Except the albums that had preceded Horrorscope (and none of them was a truly great album except Feel The Fire), all they did was releasing diluted thrash stuff. Seldom has Overkill's music felt as if something really agressive or really impassionate was going on. All these years, their brand of thrash was pretty weak and fade, except Blitz's pissed-off vocals, maybe the most tolerable thing in the combination. They were one of the first bands, yes. They wore leather jackets and hair down to their asses, and had very "socially-involved" (aka fuck the government, the politicians, the businessmen and my hair stuck in the guitar) lyrics. The most interesting thing is that in MANY cases , including Overkill's, you may have the attitude, the fine musicianship, the social commentary, but still suck.
This album is a flawlessly released tombstone (remember - tombstone, not testament) to the career of one of the most well-esteemed bands in thrash and metal. Every minute of boredom and disappointment has been prepared so ferociously, that one can only imagine what unidimensional, sad material is awaiting for his or her ears. Simply put, no fucking thrash. Just grooves and plodding wankage. Black Sabbath would be ashamed if they composed such riffs even while dreaming.
No sustained fast tempos, they just sound as flat as ever, aided by the production. The riffs have lots of low-end effects, and such crap (. If this is metal, I wonder how Tokio Hotel or RBD didn't make it into the archives. The band has no strength on any of these songs, and when you listen to the formulaic couplets that they proudly present, the most predictable reaction is to wait until they end. It's so narcoleptic, that you can't even find the wish to hit the Stop button. Everything passes so peacefully, the solos, the angry singing, the music... Mid-tempo is home on this release. I mean, yeah, the drummer does some fast drum fills, can't you get it more badass, though? Are drum fills the only moment for you to try your hand at the real thing?
The melodies? Excuse me, thrash mayhems? They're nothing but screwy punk/groove. Lest we forget that good punk music shits on this songwriting or riffing. The guitar tone is (unfortunately) very similar to the tone on Root's Black Seal. That means Overkill used a tone that weaved true epics to wrap some burgers. The bass is neglected, leaving room to riffing idiocracy.
Oh, and chief vocalizer Blitz... he should be rockin' his chair. He doesn't hit the high notes he used to, and he sounds sometimes like a will-be-soon Hetfield. Just hear him screamin' on What It Takes (which also contains a gem of a shitty main riff), and you'll be sobbing in compassion. A very interesting case is the case of Skull And Bones. Do you realize that Lamb Of God actually managed to pull out killer albums? For example, As The Palaces Burn. It's killer material compared to ReliXIV or Necroshine or this. Well, Blythe takes the cake in this song. He sounds almost inhuman, while Blitz makes this sound like an Aqua song: "come on Blitzie, let's go party...". Not to mention that the lyrics are pure genius. "Give me your love, give me your money..."? "Why don't you come for a ride, I got a hellish pride"? Blitz, you sexy motherfucker, you just ain't the perfect gigolo. And you spice your blabbermouth tests with "sweet Jesus" and "sweet mother Mary".
And last but not least: you may be wondering, what can this waste of plastic serve for? It can serve to certify the fact that you're a fan of thrash metal, and thus gain creds amongst ignorants. Or it can be a pretty good tits'n'asses catalyst. You'll be the god of the metal chick that you found in the toilet yesterday, or of any chick that wants a hardcore dude to raise her in the eyes of her mates. Except these, this album has no utility, no value. All we can do is pray that Overkill's label doesn't waste any more dough on such recordings. Amen, and R.I.P. Overkill.