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This was the first Overkill album that I got - when it first came out, in approximately April of 1996. For the longest time I had wondered if this band was worth investigating, but me being about 12 to 15 years old, and having little money, I never quite made the plunge, until I heard "Battle" on the radio (yep, at the time there was a METAL show on the radio... it slowly and surely went mallcore, though!)...
Booya, thraaaashh!!!! Well, some of this album anyway... in the context of other Overkill works, this can certainly be viewed as an oddball one, given the proclivity for ballads, and certain kinds of hushes all over the world (no kidding), but when all is said and done, it works very well. There's only a few absolute raging beginning-to-end thrashers here, and those are pretty much the first three songs. Battle, Godlike, Certifiable... three songs that compare well with just about any three consecutive Overkill songs out there.
Burn You Down to Ashes is where things start to sound a bit different... the bass intro leading into Blitz actually SINGING (yes!), making this sound just a bit like the title track of Years of Decay (that's probably the closest thing this album can be compared to - given the immediacy of the first few songs, and the experimentation of the last few)... then of course things kick into monster high gear... Overkill!! And another corpse!
Let Me Shut that for You is probably the highlight of the album, along with the opener, Battle... SIT THE FUCK DOWN!! SHUT THE FUCK UP!! And of course that middle portion with Blitz singing "there's a kind of hush... all over the world". It's tough to pull off something like that without it sounding eight ways to stupid, but somehow Overkill manage to get the fucken job done. There's not a loser song on this LP, even given that half of them go into crazy interludes.
Boldfaced Pagan Stomp is yet another thrasher, and then Feeding Frenzy is a bass-driven instrumental. Like on every Overkill work, the bass is very prominent, though not nearly as loudly mixed as on WFO...
The Cleansing is an interesting number, especially at the end, where they go into this multiplexed vocal section (Blind Guardian, anyone!) with Blitz singing "Jesus cleanse me now!!" - at least, I think it's all Blitz, though it may be Sebastian Marino on vocals too. They cut to only the vocals at the end, and usually (see: Robb Flynn) this would turn into an unmitigated disaster, but here it's surprisingly effective.
Next up is one last ballad, The Mourning After - you know I'd take you with me if I could!! - the gang vocals come back again, and this is pretty much the second coming of Soulitude... I think the effect was intentional, given the transition from The Cleansing, which is a bit similar to the transition from Nice Day for a Funeral (from the Horrorscope LP).
We close with one final monster thrasher, Cold Hard Fact... HERE IT COMES!!! One final bass-driven interlude, though this one is pretty fucking intense, and then it's all over, pal.
Does this album rock fucken hard from beginning to end? Why yes, as a matter of fact it does!! Completely awesome, and probably their most underrated album. Not the first Overkill album to get (Wrecking Everything is probably the best starting point) but certainly not one to avoid.