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Overkill have become known as one of the most consistent and enduring bands in the world. This has more to do with their stubbornness in not really altering their style than actual consistent musicianship. Over the last 2 decades, Overkill albums were plagued with fillers and only a couple of very good tracks. They also inherited groove elements into their music in the early 90's which have remained ever since (a negative, imo). Horrorscope was their last brilliant album, but that was 20 years ago. Can a band really still have it after so long? Well, the simple fact is Overkill have delivered what will probably go down as a thrash classic. Every song is brilliant and although some are obviously better than others, none are bad.
Blitz is as powerful as ever. He seems to get better with age and whereas people like James Hetfield (shame on you) are a shadow of their former selves, Blitz is awesome. D.D Verni provides a powerful bass backbone and new boy Ron Lipincki is phenomenal on the drums. His intensity is neck-breaking. Derek Tailer is decent on rhythm, but not anything special. Dave Linsk puts in his best lead performance thus far for Overkill and his solo in the soft part of the title track is fantastic. Overkill would really benefit from two leads where they could trade off one another. Al Pitrelli or Jeff Waters, maybe? Still even with that (imo) glaring weak point in the band, they have still put together a great album.
As a whole, the album has a very heavy sound and is very well-produced. Every instrument is easily audible and the vocals of Blitz cut straight through with his trademark rasp. The groove elements are mostly gone and this is mostly straight ahead thrash, the way Overkill should be.
I won't review every track, but simply mention my favorites. The title track is fantastic. The change of pace at about 3 minutes is nothing other than awe-inspiring and brilliant. Overkill should have done this more throughout their career. Dave's guitar solo is very good. In my opinion, it's the best that he has done since joining the band.
Bring Me the Night sounds like how I imagine God to be when he is angry. It's fast, aggressive, and I think Blitz has just found out his girlfriend is shagging the postman because he really lets loose here. The solos are appropriately fast and the drumming is intense to say the least. The chorus is my favorite lyrical passage on the album:
"Ready to fly; and I'm ready to die
Scare the angel, fly away
Let the devil have his way
Tie your tongue into a knot
Pray to God it never stops
Ready to fly; and I'm ready to die
Fuel me up, let me go
Shut your mouth, going to blow
Hold your ears and shield your eyes
Just a word to the wise."
Killing For a Living is just so cool because the vocals at times don't sound at all like Blitz. This bloke is a damn chameleon. Again great riffs, lyrics, and a solid performance overall.
The Goal is Your Soul has some nice eerie guitar picking and reminds me of the stuff they were writing back on their Years of Decay album. Again, this song has great tempo changes, varying riffs, and some great lyrics.
The G&B is the longest song here, but feels no longer than 5 minutes, which is a testament to how well-structured the song is. Yet another great opening track, something Overkill have always been good at on pretty much every album.
Choice cuts (although all are good):
Bring Me the Night
The Green and Black
The Goal is Your Soul
Definitely a strong contender for best album of 2010 and a must for any fan of thrash metal.