Album Review: Overkill – White Devil Armory
Posted by Reggie
Release Date: 22 July 2014
Songs: 13 (including two bonus tracks)
Length: 61 Minutes
Studio Albums: Seventeen of them
Location: New Jersey, U.S.
Overkill is back to show the younger generation how thrash is done. Yes, not many bands are doing it anymore which is kind of a shame. For those of us that grew up in the glory days of such a genre, we may as well be a dying breed as so few bands these days carry the torch reminiscent of the genre founders. Overkill, being one of those early bands, has just released their 17th studio album; many of which for you, the average reader, were probably released before you entered this existence called life. As fan of the early days it goes without saying that my expectation for Overkill is that they just kill it like they always have; tried and true, bleeding green. In short, they sure did that and then some!
Instead of the steady road of double bass, tight riffs, and utter speed, Overkill took a left hand turn and strayed from the breakneck cadence of their last two albums and took the scenic route. There are all kinds of thrashy things going on here to excitedly tickle the nerve endings of us longtime fans, but also entertain the younger fans who missed the thrash boat and want to get on. Climb on board, this album is white-knuckle experience. All the signature elements that encourage Overkill’s enthusiastic live shows are embedded in songs such as Pig, Armorist, Freedom Rings, and Where There’s Smoke. Those are the songs you drive a little faster to and run a little faster to; the classic Overkill we always expect and want to hear.
I anticipated a high-octane rehash of Ironbound (2010) and The Electric Age (2012) which were both energetic, boot in your ass thrash metal albums. There were very little variations between most of those songs and I expected nothing less with White Devil Armory…as if they have something to prove by continuing to play as fast as they have been. Though that would have not been the worst thing in the world, I am glad White Devil Armory is heavier on the melody vs. speed this time around. With the release of their first single, Armorist, I thought consistency is exactly where this new album was headed. I will take it a step further and say, after listening to the album, there are better singles they could have thrown at us to water our mouths. Songs like Another Day To Die and King Of The Rat Bastards are riff heavy, headbanging, melodic excellence.
In the end I was imagining White Devil Armory would be “cool,” but got “fuck yeah.” This is a nice surprise to what seemed like a long dry spell of quality thrash metal. It’s a well-rounded collection of dynamic thrash songs. The deluxe edition includes The Fight Song that sounds like a bar drinking “fight song” and Miss Misery features Mark Tornillo of Accept. For their 17th album, it’s hard to believe a band can actually get better and still be as aggressive as their early days. White Devil Armory is a faultless, fine piece of work.