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Overkill released this album just as their career really started to move upwards and onwards. Being on Atlantic Records, the band managed to recieve excellent distribution, hence the fact that I was able to aquire this on cassette when it was released(way back when) in my small little Northern Canada hometown of Sault Ste. Marie ON. 1988 seemed to be a pretty good year for many thrash bands, all of whom managed to release lengendary albums that have all managed to maintain a great deal of longevity. Some of those bands are Anthrax(state of euphoria), Slayer(south of heaven), Megadeth(so far, so good...so what), and of course who could forget Metallica's(...in justice for all). It would seem that for the most part "the big four" were leaving the rest of the competition behind. But for the underground metalheads, that did not look to MTV or Much Music for their music of greatest appeal, on top of it all was Overkill. By most Thrash metal fanatics standards that are true to the genre, Overkill always have been and always will be the kings of the underground thrash scene. As previously mentioned the only way the band benefitted at all in an attempt to showcase their maniacal sound was based solely on the fact that their record label offered internationl distribution.
As far as this album is concerned, It kicks ass! With the addition of new drummer Sid Falck, the band was able to increase the technical aspect of the music, as well as the fluctation of time changes in the double bass department. DD and Sid were probably the most underated rythm section in the genre.
Blitz's vocals were still piercing and the rasp that he would later incorporate in to his vocal approach was pretty much null and void. Very clean and clear sounding vocals. Not quite as controlled as on the previous two albums, but just the same possibly a little more over the top.
As for the guitar playing on this album, Bobby Gustafson does a fine job of both riffs and solos. One of his more flavorful solos is definately the one in Hello From The Gutter, which is extremely catchy and appealing to the listener. The acoustic intro to Drunken Wisdom is awesome and should have been embelished into something a little more than a measly intro, but it still works.
The only real place that this album fails to deliver is in the production, no thanx to Alex Parials. It wasn't until the next album that the band crossed paths with Terry Date, at which point a legend was born.