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After a couple of weak releases compared to the rocking "Killbox 13" I decided to give this one a shot. The problem with the two discs in the middle were mainly that they were too light and hard rock influenced. Here Overkill seem to have realized their faults, and the aim is extremes within their own classic sound.
The disc starts off with the eight minute thrasher "The Green & Black". I expected something epic and perhaps atmospheric here, but they delivered something even better. The whole song is just pure intense classic Overkill, complete with awesome catchy riffs, the mandatory headbang breakdown and Blitz's patented insane vocals. Since the riff quality and hooks exceeds all expectations the song doesn't feel longer than four-five minutes and opens the album perfectly.
"Ironbound" and "Bring Me The Night" continues down the same awesome road. The riffing is truly fantastic, being just as punishing as is infectious. "Bring Me The Night" is the single and it's not hard to understand why. It's full of classic metal hooks in the middle of the speedy chaos. The rest of the album is, while not as awesome as the first three songs, fairly even in quality with "Give A Little" and "Killing For A Living" as slight standouts.
Speaking about standout stuff, the production is another thing that makes "Ironbound" a winner. Peter Tägtgren gave them a full on metal sound, focusing on making the guitars and drums crunchy as hell. It fits perfectly and amplifies the already blasting music to new heights. Another change is that they've added way more guitar solos. This also works out well since they come in at just the right times in almost every song. Both in "Ironbound" and "Bring Me The Night" they serve as cool crescendos and just make it sound outright metal. Oh, and one thing that hasn't been tampered with; Blitz's vocals. They're as awesome as ever. Intense, crazy and he even goes for clean vocals, similar to awesome part in "Bleed Me" in "Give A Little" with great success.
While the album's intensity slows down a bit towards the end it's still a great listen all through. They've managed to create an album with modern production values that's undeniably and totally thrash. It's got a vast amount of memorable riffs, crazy vocal hooks and oldschool breakdowns. Exactly what I want from Overkill.
Standouts: First three tracks and "Give A Little"