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In 2010, Bobby and the gang released a damn good slab of modern thrash metal, known as Ironbound. In a time where many of the great thrash metal bands have been putting out less than mediocre thrash metal albums (Death Magnetic, World Painted Blood, I'm looking at you) Overkill still knows how to kick ass, even though sometimes they don't fully release those abilities (For example, this album's disappointing successor, which was released the same year in which this review was typed. *shudders*). Unlike The Electric Age, Ironbound feels powerful. Ironbound feels like the crew was truly putting their hearts into the music here. The album delivers their brand of kick-you-in-the-face thrash and blends in some interesting elements in there to keep it from getting too stale and one-dimensional. One last thing before I start talking about the songs: the production on this thing is fantastic. I love the way the bass sounds, and It makes the sound of the music feel pounding. I really feel like more of today's thrash outputs should pronounce the bass more like this one, because it really would add a new dynamic of heaviness to many records.
Ironbound begins with a really interesting clean guitar intro which serves as a fitting way to open the album. The moment the riffs start coming in and you hear that powerful bass accompanying the riffs, you know you're about to embark on quite a ride. The riffs throughout this album sound really well thought out, not tampering to much with the thrash formula, but also adding in some cool clean and melodic parts, which adds in a layer of creativity and diversity. Not only from the guitars do we hear some interesting stuff but the bass as well. There are some points where you hear the bass going off and doing its own thing, and it really is a nice change from the usual "Hey bassist, we made all the riffs. Here play along to the root notes of these power chords" type of feeling that many albums suffer from. The drums switch up the patterns during all the songs, which keeps the record from getting too stale. Now, Bobby Blitz's voice, man does he sound powerful here. This guy does not sound worn out in the least bit here, he sounds enthused, and he sounds like he just wants to tear shit up. His vocals still got that gritty, aggressive punch, which is impressive for a man his age. The vocals mix up styles every now and then blending in sung vocals, shouted vocals, and the occasional appearance of backing vocals. Overall, the music on this album feels crushing, multi-dimensional, and full of personality, some things I feel many thrash albums are lacking.
Ironbound is an album that does all the right things for a thrash metal album to achieve "greatness" and is well worthy of multiple listens. As disappointed as I was with Overkill's newest offering, The Electric Age, I really hope that they can deliver something as good as this one next time they hit the studio.