Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Album of the Year: 2010 - #7

Overkill - Ironbound

Overkill? They're still around? Well, surely they've gone the way of almost every other thrash metal band from the 80's and turned to complete and utter crap? Honestly, for the past twenty years or so, they've not been so much "terrible" as merely "unremarkable." But if ever there was a successful return to top form from one of these bands - this is the one. Other classic thrash acts have put out pretty decent albums in the past few years (Artillery and Megadeth come immediately to mind), but fans have been thrilled merely to get these passable releases. Truly great thrash albums have been unsettlingly few and far between - this is one of those truly great albums. What makes this album stand out from the crowd is that it manages to comfortably and seamlessly blend the modern and classic thrash eras - no out-of-touch conformity to the original 80's formulas and no embarrassing attempts by these "senior citizens" to trend-hop, just a pure thrash attack.

In true thrash spirit, this album will punch you in the jaw, kick you to the curb and send you running home to mommy - and you will love it all. This is one of Overkill's fastest albums ever and it rarely lets up - pretty damn impressive (and surprising) from a group of guys mostly north of the age of fifty. Monster riffs, frantic guitar solos, machine-gun drums and Blitz's incredible rasp - it all adds up to an incredibly fun journey at breakneck speeds. In the past, Overkill may have been overshadowed by their more famous peers - but today, they stand tall amidst a crowd willing to settle for just "good enough." For those whose necks are still a bit sore after The Sword, you might want to hold off a bit before listening to this one - that was little more than a warm up round compared to the workout you'll get here. Raise the horns, grab a beer and make sure the sound is at "11."

Best Track: Bring Me The Night
Rating: 9/10

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