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Energetic yet controled - 95%

Superreallycool, October 7th, 2014
Written based on this version: 1989, 12" vinyl, Megaforce Records

Overkill, underrated feels like the wrong word, as they're well known within the thrash community, but outside they are virtually unknown, which when compared to bands like Metallica, seems quite silly. Few bands have stayed a true to the course as Overkill have. The best part is, they stayed thrash, but they constantly experimented within the sub-genre. Some, such as Necroshine have been successful, others like I Hear Black have not, but Overkill has never been scared to try new things. However, there was a time where Overkill was a standard thrash band, and while they were a good standard thrash band, they didn't stick out all that much. This album is the album where they were experimental enough, but still thrashed hard, and where they became something special.

The album contains plenty of experiments, all of which are successes. The song "I Hate" is almost a mixture of regular Overkill and The Offspring, having a very pop punk aesthetic to it. The song "Playing With Spiders/Skullkrusher" is sludgy and very dynamic. However, with these experiments, there are regular thrash songs, but these rank among the best ever written. The song "Elimination" is an absolute classic, with a great riff, good chorus, and an awesome solo. Other songs such as "Time to Kill" are also great, and overall the album is consistent in quality. One odd moment, the title track is a ballad. It's a great song no doubt, but it kinda messes with the flow of the album, because right after it is another thrasher, "E.Vil N.Ever D.Ies". It's a minor complaint, but still worthy of mention, because the song is a whole 7 minutes, the length of two typical songs on the album.

It's hard to mention an Overkill album and not talk about Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. His vocals are what will either make you love or loath Overkill. His more recent vocal style is more accessible, so if you're here because you've heard their hugely successful comeback albums, you're in for a surprise. Like Dave Mustaine, he is a bit of an acquired taste, only Bobby's vocals can take even longer to get used to. Personally, I think his vocals add charm to Overkill. Something that sets them apart from the crowd. Listen to some of their older songs and get a feel of how you like the vocals before you go out and buy this album.

In my opinion, this is Overkill's third best album (although most think it's their second or first) behind Horrorscope and White Devil Armory (I know it's new, but to me it's just magic). Bobby's vocals are still odd, and depending on who you are, they are either a selling point, or something that will make you stay clear of this band altogether. The band delivers ferocious music that is supported by a great production job. If you want to get into Overkill, this is not the place to start, but once you've listened to a bit of them, this album will quickly grow on you.