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Album Reviews : Overkill – Ironbound

By on February 1, 2010

IronboundReview #1 – written by Anwar Rizk

In comparison to much bigger thrash metal names like Metallica and Slayer, Overkill have made a more humble following for themselves by sticking to valued thrash metal grass roots. Not being bound to materialism or chart topping hits, Overkill are still considered one of the most influential and sort after thrash metal band’s of the 20th century. They continue this tradition with the release of their sixteenth studio album “Ironbound”.

“Ironbound” has to be one of the most satisfying and closely replicated thrash metal albums in a very, very long time. The all-round approach mimics a style and flair too that of the 80’s thrash metal movement. The band have captured it beautifully, if not better. Fast hitting riffs, harsh vocals and rapid fire drums are the telltale sign of an exceptional thrash album which sticks close to the characteristic sound of the East coast thrash metal movement.

Just listening to the 8 minute opening track “The Green and Black” is a prime example of the band’s return to form. Minor Metallica and early 90’s grudge elements pop up here and there, but it’s essentially an Overkill song through and through. The title track of the album, “Ironbound” hits an instant home run with its powerful intro which holds a consistent high throughout.  The Megadeth esque intro of “Bring Me The Night” just sounds fantastic. Both brutal and fast with elements of punk, with no sign of collapse. This relentless ritual continues throughout the entire album. I’ve found myself coming back for more these past few weeks. Its an album that will not only grow on you, but also devour you.

If you haven’t listened to Overkill since the early 80’s you probably don’t realise that Bobby Blitz’s vocals have matured a lot since then. Initially having a very high pitch scream, his vocals have become a lot harsher in recent years with a resemblance to singers like Udo Dirkschneider (U.D.O., Accept) and Chris Boltendahl (Grave Digger), albeit with some minor banshee screams. Consecutive traveling to Europe and back has made a profound impact on the band’s music in recent years, more so in the delivery of Bobby Blitz’s vocals.  The music has essentially stayed the same, but thankfully not in a one dimensional aspect. The major developments on “Ironbound” have brought the band back into the lime light,  more so with the recent relationship with Nuclear Blast records.

Many metal fans who have stayed clear of Overkill’s groove laden sound for the last few years may see this album as a return to form. Others may see it as a major disappointment. The album will surely satisfy the tastes of the most nit picking metal fan as its an engaging and alluring album.  9/10

For fans of: Metallica, Megadeth, Accept, Hirax, Testament

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Review #2 – Written by Nick Olden

To say I’m a big Overkill fan is an understatement, I have followed them since their inception 25 years ago. Along with the rest of the Black and Green army we have been waiting for this release with much anticipation, and we haven’t been let down!

Other than Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, I don’t think there has ever been a more distinctive bass style than that of DD Verni. As far as vocals go no one can deny that Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth has the most unique and distinct vocals of any metal vocalist out there. To complete this combo the guitar duo of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer are the best here that I have heard on any of Overkill’s offerings that they have appeared on. Not to forget the ever so tight drumming of Ron Lipnicki on his second Overkill release. To say this is their most complete work to date would be a big statement, but I would put it up there. Don’t get me wrong the last two Overkill releases have been heading in the right direction, but the formula has now gone full circle and we are now seeing the band maybe post “Horrorscope” when the world was potentially their oyster.

The opening track “The Green and Black” opens with a huge epic feel, before transforming into a trademark Overkill tune, but with a twist. The guitars are heavy with great harmony. Bobby’s vocals take me back to the “I Hear Black” days. This song is a true return to form from one of the bands who were always on the cusp of greatness, lets hope they finally achieve it! Title track “Ironbound” is another killer track an anthem for all us Overkill fans, as catchy as hell, full of great new riffs and some of the best guitar work I’ve ever heard from Dave Linsk. DD is at his creative best on “The Goal is Your Soul” but again it’s the new guitar gusto that steals the show. The whole album is a riff fest. “Endless War” is a throw back to the bands traditional thrash sound, an ode to all that was good about 80’s thrash with its galloping rhythm and catchy chorus, another standout on an album that sets the bar very high for the rest of 2010!

Am I biased? Maybe a little, but to me these guys are everything that is good about Metal, never a band to back down, have always done it their way, and like I said before hopefully they will finally start to get the accolades they deserve. This is a killer cd. To any young Metal fans out there who want to discover real Metal at its best then check Overkill out. And to the “Black and Green Army” this one’s for you…… To all in Australia let’s hope we finally get to see these guys out here!!!!

10/10

Band: Overkill
Album: Ironbound
Year: 2010
Genre: Thrash Metal
Origin: USA
www.wreckingcrew.com

Tracklisting:

1. The Green and Black
2. Ironbound <- Reviewer’s Choice
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 S.R.C.

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.