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It’s been a very very long time since I’ve written a review for this site, but this one’s just too much to pass up.
It’s pretty difficult to really wrap your head around just what Overkill has done on this release – this is a band with 14 albums under their belt (15 according to them, I guess counting Coverkill or Power In Black, was never sure which) and who’s glory years were thought to be long behind them. Their last two releases were fairly disappointing affairs with only a couple bright spots between the two, resembling an old strand of Christmas lights. Using that analogy however, Ironbound is a blinding floodlight, probably visible from space. This is classic thrash metal with some modern sensibilities, and better than anything the band has put out since 1991’s Horrorscope! In fact, it just might be better than that classic album and any of their other albums for that matter.
Songs like “Bring Me The Night”, “Endless War” and the title track resonate with classic thrash rhythms and melodies. You could put either of those songs smack-dab in the middle of Feel The Fire or Taking Over and they would not sound out of place. Other cuts like “Give A Little” and “The Goal Is Your Soul” thrash with a more modern sound in the same way that Overkill’s more recent worthwhile material does, straddling the line between thrash and groove perfectly.
I’d be hard pressed to pick a weak moment on Ironbound, but if I had to it would be the more rock-based approach to “Killing For A Living”, which certainly isn’t a bad song but feels like maybe a B- in a classroom full of A+. Production-wise, the album is solid, if a little heavy on the treble. The guitars sound lethal, but DD’s bass is buried somewhat.
Overall, this one should go down as one of the band’s best. Yet it is almost troubling that it has come so late in the their career. Will Overkill be able to build on this? Or will it be their swan song? Surely it sounds as if they are rejuvenated, that they have a lot more to give. DD and Blitz seem to have turned over a new leaf in the songwriting department, and the band as a whole is playing with more intensity than they have in years. Only time will tell, but if this is the last chapter in the story of the Green and Black, it’s a damn good one.