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Yes it can. It’s been two years since W.F.O. came out and following that a nice little live album package. I might be alone on this one but W.F.O. had a feeling of hanging on to thrash by the finger tips kind of straining itself. Killing Wind is when they started to embrace a new sound, more groovy, and this resulted in some fans shunning this. Even if this isn’t pure thrash it’s still good metal and sounds a lot more genuine compared to the last two records. The guitar duo of Cannavino and Grant left and left Overkill with another lineup change (surprise). Sebastion Marino and Joe Comeau joined for the next few years (Comeau would later join Annihilator) and though not the most memorable lineup it did get the job done. The production is definitely a lot more clean and even than W.F.O. for sure. The song writing is a bit more interesting, as they add all sorts of new ideas into the songs and arrangements. There were some problems with this new sound emerging though. For one thing, they added something I fucking hate in metal, samples. Sometimes it works like at the beginning of a song but most of the time it’s just fucking stupid like the ones in Battle (“It’s not like you can just kill me…”). And a second thing, this album would lead the band directly into the complete shitstorm of Overkill’s discography From the Underground And Below. Also back to what I said about new ideas in the songwriting… well this was a good thing and a bad thing. The bad part of it was that it kind of made this album inconsistent.
It starts with Battle. It’s the first of the thrashers and starts off interesting and heavy. It contains two things that are really shitty, the corny samples and the annoying as fuck “Yeah” thrown in there but overall it’s a solid Overkill song. Godlike is another thrasher and it thrashes a bit more than Battle with faster chaotic riffing. The opening/verse riffs are very nice thrash riffs. Blitz sounds insane and very hardcore on this song. Not in the Hatebreed way though… There are some very nice solos that lead into a slow section. What the hell, that sounds like a fucking death metal growl at the end! Certifiable, the last of the thrashers (for the time being) starts off fast and doesn’t let up. Everything about this song fucking rules even that weird “Whoooaahooh!” crap. The vocals, again, are fucking vicious. “You better! Let Me! In! Mother FUCKER!” Another good thing, this song does without all samples, thank god.
Burn You Down/ To Ashes changes things a bit, starting out with a slow bass part, with the eerie guitar coming in. A pounding drum fill leads the song into a heavy depressive chug with several layers of guitar. It gets softer again with just bass and Blitz singing softly with a contrast of vengeful lyrics. It continues to get heavier and everything turns thrash at 4:20. After 6 minutes of thrashing it ends with some very nice outro acoustic guitar playing. Great range vocally on this song as well. Well what’s a better way to fuck up the emotive feeling than with some fast aggressive drum beats? Let Me Shut That For You is an interesting thrashy/groovy song with Overkill’s infamous gang vocals. There are these great parts scattered in the song if you listen for them where Blitz does this ridiculously fast vocal part dueled with it. (“Gotta gotta gotta get me some.”) They kind of throw a random slow part in there, maybe just because they can. Like previously said it might be kind of hard to pull of those really stupid lyrics without it sounding… well stupid but it works. Bold Face Pagan Stomp is pure groove metal for the most part. Some of it is surprisingly enjoyable but in, let’s say, the prechorus it sounds really really shitty. There’s a cool groovy solo thrown in too; is this fucking Pantera or something? Feeding Frenzy starts out with just bass. Check out that second bass part, almost reminiscent of N.I.B. It’s in fact a very fucking good instrumental. They definitely could have tapped another minute or two on there.
The Cleansing. Well… I’m not sure what to say, I have mixed feelings towards this song. It starts out great with this evil sounding slow part. But then it turns into very groovy Necroshine music. It isn’t bad but it’s kind of a disappointment. Listen at 1:45. That one vocal line alone makes me cringe. The chorus is pretty cool, I guess. The ending is interesting with overlapping vocal patterns but… I don’t see where the fuck people are getting Blind Guardian from. You can’t compare that one vocal part to Blind Guardian… I mean come on. The Morning After is so emotional, its so different and… it fucking sucks. The piano ruins it. There are parts that would be kind of cool but it just doesn’t work. I think I kind of stand alone in the fact that I hate most Overkill ballads with a passion. Solitude was horrible, this is even worse, and nothing can out shit the shit that is Bastard Nation. Years of Decay was good but I don’t think they could mimic that kind of greatness again. Cold Hard Fact is a very heavy half thrash song with groove drums. It has a wonderful chorus and the guitarist belts out a nice solo.
When you sit down and compare this album to W.F.O. they are slightly similar in the structure that the songs are put in order. You’re started off with a thrasher that sets the mood. This is followed by a couple other headbanger songs. The interesting shit is kind of thrown in the middle. Then you have a horrible ballad and a solid thrasher to round things off. The difference is that Killing Wind took that formula and made it better and more interesting. For the ones that couldn’t take this only had to sit through another two albums before the wonderful modern thrash of Bloodletting. This style Overkill experimented with on this album compared to something like Feel the Fire leaves you with a thought of wondering if this album could actually be good. Well, yes it is for the most part. Give it a shot. You may be pleasantly surprised.