OVERKILL – White Devil Armory (CD)
Listening to Overkill is a sure bet, at least you know you’re going to get thrash metal thrown in your face, and you’ll still be begging for more after the CD has finished playing.
“White Devil Armory” is the newest release from singer Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and team. Bobby stills sounds like he did on “Taking Over”, “Feel The Fire”, “Hello From The Gutter” and “The Years Of Decay”, which is a good thing, but the music is slightly varied, and more mature sounding, if you will. I like mature sounding music, but from Overkill, a band which got me into the New England Thrash Metal Scene, I was left thinking, was it a good or bad thing, maturing, as when I think of Overkill, I think of thrash metal of the highest quality.
This brings us to “White Devil Armory”, which is a good record, and something I enjoyed listening to, but its just missing that punch to the guts because of their mature musicianship, which was clearly present on their first four releases, even on “Horroscope” and “W.F.O.” Don’t get me wrong, Overkill has not wimped out like Metallica or Megadeth or even Anthrax, but when you’ve grown up listening to such punishing thrash metal upper cuts to the forehead from such a groundbreaking band, you tend to miss the good. I miss early Overkill, especially when I hear thrash and speed metal bands of today, and think, what the fuck do these newcomers know about good quality thrash metal. I say, to hell with retro-thrash and stick with the veteran thrashers as long as they keep it real.
However, these four tracks “Where There’s Smoke”, “Freedom Rings”, “Down To The Bone” and “Armorist” got my attention with their heavy as hell thrash-driven, rhythms firing on 12 cylinders, and Bobby’s vocals still vicious as a viper’s poisonous bite. The other songs were okay, nothing to write home about, but Overkill is far from selling out as their roots of heavy metal music is alive here, so much respect to them on this aspect.
Overkill’s album artwork for “White Devil Armory” is hauntingly interesting as ever, and sure to get attention of the religious-right, ha, ha. I say, more power to them for not changing their logo and cryptic artwork themes as they’ve always invoked many emotions with the listener’s mind, myself included. [EOne] Sarjoo Devani.