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Rip The Core Of Your World Apart - 98%

Sweetie, July 21st, 2021

Alcohol and sluts pull me from my rut

As we get back to these early, dirty, and stripped down thrash records, it becomes harder to find nuanced thoughts outside of the sheer level of classic and overall perfection. Taking Over is what I call the second of the “Rat Skates era,” ending with the Fuck You EP. There’s been this eternal battle between it and Feel The Fire for me and which I prefer. Overkill’s second full-length may have more differences than one might think, though.

Obviously, the production here is drastically different, and I think the Skates’ talent got a little more drowned in the depths of noise. Blitz still comes through well enough, especially since this was when his outbursts of screaming were at their strongest. As grimy as the band was before, I do think this was where they pushed a bit more blunt crudeness in their lyrics, which would never really go away. “Fatal If Swallowed” and “Use Your Head” are our obvious examples, but they snuck a little extra everywhere, at least more than prior

I do think Taking Over does have the superior songwriting tactics, and it is rather varied for how compact and on-the-nose it is. “Deny The Cross” will always be one of my favorites, having more chaos in construction than anything else on the first two albums. The riffing combo with Bobby’s vocals is seriously unsettling. On the flipside, you get “Powersurge,” aiming to be more concise but far faster. Then there’s the obvious classic “Wrecking Crew” that takes from both tables and sprinkles on that nastier edge with the lyrics. One that nobody really talks as much about is “Electro-Violence,” which I think had some of the neatest bass/lead combos, taking off without warning.

There’s also a bit of steadier progression here, shown mildly in songs like the aformentioned “Use Your Head” (that solo!), but it’s laid on even heavier elsewhere. “In Union We Stand” has an anthemic flow to it that would become rather staple, but I think the hooky chorus and ability to weave this in between two speed-bangers is pretty impressive. “Fear His Name” feeds us more of this on the A-side, another one that has some stellar chops but tends to get overlooked. The literal only gripe is that “Overkill II” is longer than it needs to be, and like “Overkill III” I really don’t think they needed to keep drilling this tactic. At least “Overkill IV” got a name change to “E.vil N.ever D.ies” and was way more brief and worked as a better closer. It’s a solid song, but everything else is a notch better.

I can’t complain about any of this, though. While I like the debut just a hair better, I think this one was the slightest bit more unique and gave away the littlest hints of tighter writing. Style fans know this album by now, and just about anyone into classic metal knows of it. Need I really say much more?