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A step down from Years of Decay, but a good listen - 80%

Idontsuckdick, December 27th, 2008

I was a little confused when first hearing this album. You would expect that as a band makes more albums they would be more developed and have better production. Well, this album is great, but compared to its preceding album, The Years of Decay, it kind of sucks. The overall sound is a little less developed and clear, the solos and riffs are much weaker, and the bass does not pound like it did before. However this album is redeemed as it has good energy, powerful (but not too powerful) riffs, and consistent drumming. The bass isn’t too audible, but has some moments where it plays by itself and sounds cool.

I guess with the loss of Bobby Gustafson the guitar playing in Overkill got simpler. The solos still kick ass, but are a little more awkward and out of place. There is usually only one per song whereas before they were at every corner ready to pop out and hit you in the face. The riffs don’t have as much range and always follow the same pattern. However they fit very well with the drums. They are a little thrashier and less technical than Years of Decay riffs. It is the kind of guitar playing that is fun to play yourself as a pose to listening to. They set more of a feel than a mood.

What the heck happened to the bass? It really is simple and just plays the riffs along with the guitars, and is less audible. However in some songs it has little fills that take over and sound really cool, and has a really cool intro in Horrorscope. It has no solos and rarely do you hear it get pounded out into little cool solos. The tone is also less crunchy and clear.

The drums are pretty good on this album. Most songs start with a drum fill that is catchy and creative. Then throughout the songs they are bouncy and have good backbeats, and stay constant with the beats and changes.

A very redeeming quality of this album is the vocals. Most angry and less poetic lyrics are pretty annoying, but these lyrics are pretty cool. Bobby has a very interesting voice, and it sounds very expressive. A good example is the song New Machine, the vocals just rest on top of the riffs in a very clever fashion, and Bobby knows how to build up intensity and meet changes correctly.

The best three songs in my opinion are New Machine, Thanx for nothin, Live Young, Die Free. All are very high energy songs and Live Young, Die Free has a cool solo. New Machine is just a good headbang song with an intense groove, and thanx for nothin is catchy and upbeat.

Overall this album still has the awesome Overkill sound, but the guitar playing is less creative, and the production is for some reason worse than previous releases. Still, it is a worthy album and a must have for Overkill fans.