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Overkill – Ironbound: Review

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Overkill emerged from the thrash metal scene in the 80’s. Yes, they are still around and released their 15th studio album, Ironbound, on January 29 in Europe (February 9 for USA). After all these years, one would expect a band to be on the downhill. However, the album at hand easily defeats these expectations.

The Music (rating: A-)

  1. The Green and Black
  2. Ironbound
  3. Bring Me the Night
  4. The Goal is Your Soul
  5. Give a Little
  6. Endless War
  7. The Head and Heart
  8. In Vain
  9. Killing for a Living
  10. The SRC

After hearing this album, I am definitely going to listen to their older material. This is a stellar thrash album, among the ranks of Megadeth’s Endgame and Testament’s Formation of Damnation. It is no doubt one of the best releases this year so far (though there have been quite a few).

Despite being new, the sound is very vintage. It is amazing that Overkill is able to create fresh material that feels so nostalgically 80’s. Though many bands have recently employed a more produced sound (like recent Megadeth), Overkill abstains from this path. It all comes down to preference, but I do feel that the rarity of this classic sound in recent years has much value.

What stood out most to me in Ironbound was the fantastic tempo changes. They kept every song interesting, especially in such songs as “The Goal is Your Soul” and “The Green and Black”. They are key in adding both replay value and musical complexity to the songs. Though tempo changes can be a risk to the musical flow, I feel that aspect is not compromised here. Their use is finely executed.

The instrumental performance is also worthy of acclaim. There are consistently excellent guitar riffs in this album. The solos, though not overly spectacular, are quite well done. The basslines are amazing, whether it be simple support or melodic emphasis. With respect to drumming, there is a solid variety of beats, but the album no doubt has its fair share of “snare/hi-hat/double-bass” rhythms. The vocal phrasing is very well performed, and the tone was suitable to the music. I would not call the singer amazing, but he is very good.

Overall, Ironbound is an excellent album. The musicianship and instrumentals are commendable, as well as the general sound. It does not leap over any boundaries, but it does offer thorough craftsmanship. If you still collect albums, this should be on your to-buy list.

  1. millarman
    February 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    cool review dude need to be a little less clinical. this cd explodes, fantastic tempo. megadeth does not even come close. dave m is still stuck in the same song structures. and what happened to his voice, wheres the snarl…. let er rip!!!

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