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Unexpected Greatness - 88%

pinpals, February 19th, 2010

Surprise! 2-3 years have passed and guess what, it’s time for another Overkill album! One has to give credit to a band that is still regularly putting out albums this frequently. Unfortunately, these albums have been getting worse and worse until a career low-point with "Immortalis", which had zero good songs on it. Needless to say I was totally unprepared for the aural assault the greeted me with "The Green And The Black", but before I get into that, a little background first.

Some would argue that Overkill was the first Thrash band, being formed all the way back in 1980. I would disagree with that because I do not think that they actually played Thrash until 1985-1987 or so, before that they were more Speed Metal than anything else. Either way you look at it, they’ve been around for a while (and at one time had Anthrax’s Dan Spitz on guitar), and have been putting out albums and touring relentlessly for almost 30 years! Anyone that’s been to an Overkill live show will tell you that they definitely can bring it (and still can, go see them if you ever get the chance). Oh, and despite coming close with "I Hear Black" and "Immortalis", they’ve never really sold out and certainly have never put out anything as bad as "St. Anger", "Risk" or "Diabolus In Musica".

Anyone doubting whether Overkill can still deliver the goods or not need only listen to "The Green And The Black", perhaps the best song that they’ve released since "Coma" off of "Horrorscope". Excellent speedy, hard-hitting riffs and a menacing vocal performance by Blitz give way to a killer break that will surely have fans headbanging and moshing live. Top it off with some good soloing and this song is a winner. Some bands decide to write one good song and stick it at the beginning to fool fans, but not Overkill, in fact, the intensity never lets up throughout the album. Some other favorites of mine are the title track, "The Goal Is Your Soul" and "The SRC".

The riffs are stronger, more plentiful and more dynamic and there’s more soloing too, which is good because Dave Linsk can shred. The drums pack more of a punch too, which is a necessity for heavy music like this. Peter Tagtgren does an excellent job producing this album, giving it a much heavier feel than the punchless, low budget sounding work of the past few albums. This isn’t Killswitch Engage dammit! I want the music to be loud and in-my-face! Excellent work with the production.

The amusing thing about this is that Blitz doesn’t seem to realize there’s anything different about this album than any of the past few. In some interviews he makes it sound like it’s more of the same from Overkill, but in others he claims that this is a new chapter for the band. This may seem substantial, but he’s been saying similar shit before new album releases for years now. Regardless of whether he realizes it or not, this is one of the strongest albums in Overkill’s catalogue. I can’t wait to hear these songs performed live. Don’t let the past few albums fool you, "Ironbound" is a winner, buy it ASAP.

Originally published for www.metal-temple.com