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Everybody Movin' to the Rip 'n Tear - 87%

overkill94, October 20th, 2019
Written based on this version: 1997, CD, Steamhammer

With a screen name like mine, what did you expect? As a long-time metalhead I should at least give some backstory on my journey though. I came into the scene around 95/96 when groove was in full effect so an album that sounded like this sounded normal to me - heavy as hell, some solos, nasty vocals, all that good shit. My first Overkill album was WFO so when this came out it wasn't exactly a surprise to me. So in the long run I have either the privilege or burden of catching my favorite band in the (so-called) decline of their career without prior experience of their history. Well, here's what my virgin thoughts are...

First of all, this thing fuckin' rips. The riffs may be a little groovy, but this isn't Soulfly or anything. Blitz is as harsh as usual, DD brings the heaviest bottom around, and the other players do their job admirably. Honestly, I love every song. "Promises" is of course a bit of an outlier in their entire catalog but it's really not all that bad as far as metal ballads go and Blitz has some of his best vocals on this one. Otherwise, you get quite the variety of styles throughout - a little industrial via the sampling in "Save Me", plenty of blues in the bendy notes on something like "Long Time Dyin'", the aforementioned balladry of "Promises" - and they all meld pretty well into an enjoyable package.

As far as highlights, the opener "It Lives" is quite the burner with plenty of venom built in. "F.U.C.T" is even meaner with a nice little circular riff, a Comeau-Blitz grit-off lyrics-wise, and a filthy chorus. Sure, "I'm Alright" gets a little repetitive and the riffs are pretty simple, might be my least favorite on the album, but it's followed up with the fuckin' "Rip N' Tear" which although containing some groove riffs (some of the best you'll encounter) is a hell of a lot of fun while being heavy as shit. Then there's the closer with the title all thrash albums should be called - "Little Bit O' Murder'". Honestly, that chorus creeps into my brain at least once a month and as a music listener who splits his loyalties between metal and indie rock, that's a pretty special distinction.

So, at this point you've either skipped down to this paragraph and already assumed I'm an idiot (here's some more proof, I don't like Feel the Fire that much) or come in as an Overkill newbie and become intrigued compared to the hate that everyone else is giving this gem. If this helps, I don't think every Overkill album is amazing - the trio of Killbox 13/Relix IV/Immortalis plus White Devil Armory don't do much for me - but of course this one isn't in the upper echelon of their albums. Then again, this band is amazing and their worst album is better than most bands' best album so it's all relative. You've already seen my history so if you can't stand all the groove that came out in the mid-90s then this might not work for you. If you're willing to look at this without that stigma though, I think you might enjoy yourself.