Home > *Music, Reviews > Overdrive – Angelmaker: Review

Overdrive – Angelmaker: Review

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

On January 21, the Swedish heavy metal band Overdrive released their latest album entitled Angelmaker. It is their second release since their reunion in 2003 and their fourth studio record overall. Though the word “reunion” jogs up some sort of implication that a great band is back in original form, that is not quite the case here. Angelmaker is no indication that Overdrive is within the proximity of greatness.

The Music (rating: C+)

  1. Signs All Over
  2. In Gut We Trust
  3. Angelmaker
  4. I Know There’s Something Going On
  5. Under the Influence
  6. On With the Action
  7. See the Light
  8. To Grow
  9. Mother Earth
  10. It’s a Thriller
  11. Cold Blood Chaser
  12. The Wavebreaker

Having been formed in the 80’s, it is not surprising that Overdrive maintains a sound resemblant of heavy metal from that era. The overall production is more modern, but the songwriting and mindset in Angelmaker is noticeably not of this time. There are high vocals and hard-hitting guitar riffs with a typical heavy metal distortion in conjunction with driving basslines and basic-beat drumming. At numerous points throughout the album, the music also tributes the speed metal genre. The overall sound shares similar characteristics with that of early Judas Priest, but with a more modern sound.

But if one were to compare 2011 Overdrive with early Judas Priest, it is very clear that the former is void of the drive and inspiration of the latter. Whether it is because of how far music has come along or simply the true value of Angelmaker, the album suffers from lack of individuality and innovation. It is both basic and generic. Not only has the style been replicated many times since the 80’s, but it has been done so at much more respectable levels of execution. This record is unable to maintain interest when there are many 80’s heavy metal style albums that are infinitely better. Even for a fan of that specific style, the album may instill boredom and disinterest.

The music is dishearteningly diluted to the very basics and it is unappealing. Most of the songs (with the exception of the finale) follow a very standard song structure consisting of four or so different sections organized in a predictable manner. And to worsen matters, there is not even much musical substance within the songs as it is. The guitar riffs, which are seemingly the basis of the music, are quite drab and plain. The same can be said about the solos. They are mostly just gallops or palm-muted power chord riffs interlaced with basic scale noodling. Acoustic sections are also occasionally included, though leave little for the mind to grasp. But my crosshair has only been on the guitar because the album is seemingly guitar-based. However, all instruments are undoubtedly as unimpressive as the guitar. The basslines do nothing to impress, and the drumming is brought down to the very basics. Though the vocalist shows technical ability, he does very little on the creative and inspirational side. As a result, Angelmaker is made as a dull, contrived, substandard record.

If there is one reason to support this album, it is to support the very art of heavy metal. However, there are other albums that are much more praiseworthy than this one. Believe it or not, there are still metal albums being made that are extremely heartfelt and original, as well as those that are technical or musical masterpieces. Sad to say, Angelmaker simply is not one of them.

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Categories: *Music, Reviews Tags: , , ,
  1. February 1, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Wow! This must be the most innovative and thorough thrashing of an Overdrive album ever! Quite a funny read, actually :-)

    Well, I’ll get on with my drab riffs galloping solos then :-)
    /Janne

    • CJ
      February 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      As long as there are people who support you (which there no doubt are), keep doing what you love.

      Thanks for the comment, Janne.

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