Overkill reinforce their place on the throne of thrash metal
Many sceptics voiced their opinion when Overkill announced a few months ago that they would postpone the release of their new album because they wanted to produce a super strong album. Too many times announcements like this were the beginning of the end of so many bands. Now Overkill’s 18th longplayer “White Devil Armory” has been released. And to cut a long story short: yes, it is the announced killer album.
The wrecking crew around Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth has again produced a benchmark thrash metal album. After the already strong predecessors “ironbound” and “The Electric Age”, “White Devil Armory” is yet another milestone in the bands long career. The album comes with all the trademarks that Overkill’s fans have come to love over the 34 years that this band already exists. The razorblade-like riffs of guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, outstanding bass work and sound of D.D. Verni and the thundering drums of Ron Lipnicki combined with the cynical vocals of Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworh make that brand Overkill so strong. You add a little bit of punk and lyrics with attitude and you have a strong Overkill album.
After the introduction with “XDM” the album starts off with “Armorist”, a high-tempo rocker that hits you right in the face. From there on the explosive energy that is Overkill spreads throughout the entire production. There is not a single second that is not absolute high-class. Whether it is the galloping “Down To The Bone” or the up-tempo riff monster “Pig”, the melodic groover “Bitter Pill” or the angry “King Of The Rat Bastards”, it is hard to pick a highlight. The album adds one thrash metal monster after the other.
Overkill convince not only with their trademarks. They craftily add new elements to the well-established Overkill sound. Bobby surprises with clean vocals on “It’s All Yours”, Judas Priest get an obvious reference in “Freedom Rings” and “Another Day To Die” plays with some traits of Overkill’s Californian thrash metal colleagues.
The album stays interesting at every turn. The energy simply does not drop. “White Devil Armory” is among the favourites for the album of the year. We have clearly seen a lot of strong releases this year already but it will be hard to top this performance. Overkill is the only old-school thrash metal band that is capable of releasing a high quality product every other year. While most other bands in the A league struggle to get together an album at all Overkill seems to get stronger and stronger every time they go into the studio. They have not only perfected their sound but can add slight nuances that make their albums outstanding. Overkill have reinforced their place on top of the thrash metal world with “White Devil Armory”.
9.5 of 10