Thursday, February 18, 2010

Initial Impressions: Overkill: Ironbound

One of the very early thrash metal bands, Overkill is probably the second most important American thrash metal band from the East Coast. Only Anthrax is regarded higher and that band does not have nearly the same consistent career as Overkill. To put it quite simply, Overkill has never released a bad album. NEVER. Only a handful of bands can say that and I can only think of one other thrash metal band that can say that: Sodom. This album is no exception.

Overkill still possesses the same general sound they have been operating with since their first album. They did have a period of time where they had slowed their hyperfrenetic thrash down to more of a groove metal-oriented style, but those days have passed. Overkill is about playing thrash metal in the vein of Motorhead meets 1970's punk meets NWOBHM. It's fast and riff-heavy, yet melodic. While the band does not play quite as fast as they did during their 1980's heyday, they can still outblaze many of their contemporaries.

The other thing that has not changed about Overkill is Blitz Ellsworth's sneering banshee shrieks. He has had one of the most distinctive voices in thrash metal for decades, with many bands attempting to copy his style of vocals.

This album is a very strong album for a band that has been around for more than three decades at this point. Overkill is still going strong. This is quite easily the thrash album of the year to this point and it will be interesting to see if any other band is going to top it.

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