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How many old school bands do you know who have released a good damn record in recent years? Maybe a few. How many old school bands do you know who have released a pants-shittingly awesome record in recent years? I know one, and that band is Overkill. Even if you ignore the circumstances of Ironbound's release, you still have a wonderful piece of mean, manly and magnificent old school thrash metal with a modern tinge. One of my favorite things about this album is that every song is easily distinguishable and they're all almost like separate personalities..."The Green and Black" is the epic one, "Bring Me the Night" is the rock 'n' roller, "Give A Little" is the song with dual vocals and so on. Basically, it's a very dynamic album, but still stays true to its roots.
The journey of awesome that is listening to this album begins with a quiet bass (some guitar) intro to "The Green and Black", which is a contender for "Best Song of 2010", in my opinion. I really want to focus on the opening track here, because this is an 8 minute song that not for one second feels like it's being dragged out or contrived, which is really an accomplishment. The song goes through many phases, starting with the aforementioned bass intro, then a epic-turning-evil electric guitar, followed by a kickass thrash phase (with unbelievably cool choruses, too) which wraps up the song, but is interspersed with cool interludes, solos and breaks. Following the first epic of the album is the second epic and title track "Ironbound". This is a great song as well, which is best described like this: it thrashes the fuck out of you at first, then beats and maims you to a pulp with a breakdown more brutal than any deathcore band has ever even dreamed of writing, then while you're lying on the ground in a bloody mess with a smile on your face, it heals you back to life with a soothing and really quite beautiful solo, but as soon as it's finished doing that, it's back to FUCKING MAYHEM! This part of the song is great, and I especially like the sound of the heavy guitar blast immediately followed by a barely audible ride hit, which is decimated by the guitar again a moment later (it sounds kind of like CHNG-ting!-CHNG-ting!, just believe me, it's awesome). I'm probably breaking the "no track-by-track review of an album" by this point, so I'll just finish up this portion of the review by saying that the rest of the album has mighty moments of metal mastery with catchy riffs and vocal pieces.
Aaaaand, speaking of riffs, this album is full of them. I shit you not, there is a riff every minute, and they ALL sound fucking godly. From "Bring Me the Night"'s Motorhead styled guitar playing to "Give A Little"'s almost mocking riffs (once again, I shit you not, they made the guitar actually sound like it was mocking you. HOW DO THEY DO THAT OMGWTFLOLWUT!?) to "Ironbound"'s mosh-inducing and energetic break and breakdown riffs, it's all great. Ron Lipnicki does an A+ drumming job -- fast, useful, tight and catchy. One thing lacking about the drums though is the heinously weak kick drum. I mean come on, it sounds like a god damn mouse click! This album wouldn't be the same if it lacked real heaviness, and although the thin kick drum sound takes away from that, D.D. Verni's never-ending bass lines (which are HUGE in the mix) make up for it, and make for it GOOD. Heavy, fast and skilled, the instrumentation on Ironbound is great in every way (except for the kick drum, but just try to ignore it)!
As for vocals? Well, what can I say, Bobby Blitz sings and screams as well as he ever did, except now they've got flawless production so he sounds a THOUSAND TIMES better. One interesting thing was how much of the "low talking" type of singing he did on here. Instead of singing in a higher range like he usually does (or so it seems to me), he laid low in a lower range when singing most stuff. Now, I'm not really complaining, because this gives off a pissed-off vibe...and well, this is speed metal, you need that! Another good thing that comes out of this low singing is that after you get used to it and you hear that motherfucker scream....damn! The contrast is so huge, it's like a loop on a rollercoaster; it comes out of nowhere and is exciting as hell.
Overkill has really stunned me and lots of others with Ironbound, and I think it's really garnered them a larger support from a newer generation. I'm not sure how many of them turn into wrecking motherfuckers, but I know for a fact that this is the album that turned me green and black, and I'm a huge fan of Overkill now! Wrecking crew for life!
Song highlights: EVERYTHING! But if you want to be extremely picky, "Green and Black", "Ironbound", "Bring Me the Night".