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This here is the first Overkill album that is not pure, straight-up thrash. In retrospect, you could see it coming from some of the material that presented itself on I HEAR BLACK and WFO, but probably also has a lot to do with the fact that they brought in two new guitarists (again), one of them being a vocalist as opposed to a pure guitarist. That's not to say that they don't do a good job however.
The top end of this album is actually quite good. "Battle" probably could have found its way onto HORRORSCOPE, even though it's got some 'different' ideas thrown in here and there. The next two tracks, "God-Like" and "Certifiable" aren't quite as good as the first, but still work in much the same fashion -- thrashy, but not thrash-as-fuck. Sad, but not entirely distressing.
The middle of the album is forgettable for the most part, with the exception of "Let Me Shut That For You", which is quite effective in getting a smile to appear on my face when Blitz gets to the "Sit the FUCK down and Shut the FUCK up" part. Good stuff.
So we get through the first eight tracks and I'm pretty satisfied. There is nothing groundbreaking here, although the band tries some things that are new for them. There are some pretty good thrashers as stated above, but what really makes this album for me are the last two tracks. "The Mourning After/Private Bleeding" is the best ballad Overkill have done. It's completely out of character (at least we thought so at the time) what with the piano driven melodies and such. Very effective. This brings us to "Cold Hard Fact", which again, isn't the thrashiest number I've ever heard, but that chord progression that everyone has heard in a dozen different songs really uh... strikes a chord with me! Very catchy stuff and one of my favourites on the album.
So yeah, it's a new period in Overkill's career, and easily their most forgettable, but not all that bad. In fact it's way better than a lot of other bands can aspire to. Oh well, this kind of half-thrash period only lasts until 2000, and then we get back to the really good stuff.