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Good, not classic, but seriously good! - 80%

morbert, July 6th, 2009

How I wondered (and feared) if the band could regain consciousness and at least consolidate after the departure of main songwriter Bobby Gustafson. He wasn’t simply an employee, he wrote the bulk of their stuff. So in fact with such a change in line-up it wouldn’t be surprising if the band would start sounding too differently. And yes, they did sound different, but not too much. Not too much yet, that is. Their real identity crisis came two years later. On Horrorscope the band just continued doing what they were used to do but they couldn’t help shifting slightly.

Opener ‘Coma’ set me straight. I could start breathing again. Overkill still sounded like Overkill. The darker but thrashy vibe from The Years Of decay was still there. Good opening song with a superb chorus! The title track ‘Horrorscope’ once again showed the band’s love for doom metal just like they did on Skullcrusher but this song is shorter, compact and to the point. Great atmosphere.

The line-up change becomes most obvious on the most energetic songs on the album, ‘Blood Money’ and ‘Thanx for Nothing'. These are groovy yet fast thrash metal riffs Gustafson couldn’t have written. They got ‘crossover’ all over them yet played like this with Blitz’ voice all over they’re thrash enough for Overkill. They’re catchy and enjoyable, two highlights on the album!

The album was good. As a whole it didn’t come close to their best eighties works but it certainly had enough good songs to save the day. However from day one I did miss the compositional ingenuity of “Years Of Decay”, filled with changes in pace, key. Apart from a few individually ingenious songs, the band mostly went back to their “Under the Influence” days in terms of simple song structures. A slight devolution which makes this album a bit more lightweight compared to its predecessor and less mature.