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Review: Overkill - ReliXIV

Label: Spitfire Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 50:34
Tracks: 10
Genre: Thrash Metal

Rating: 2.75/5

Review online: February 17, 2005
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Readers Rating

Rated 3.77/5 (75.45%) (22 Votes)

One of the first and oldest thrash metal bands in existence has surfaced again this year for its quite anticipated "ReliXIV". And the verdict is not a pleasant one. "ReliXIV" is worse than 2003's "Killbox 13". So if you were not particularly fond of that album, I highly suspect you are going to be repulsed by this one as well.

This is not at all the classic Overkill of "Feel The Fire" or "Horrorscope". This album is so reliant on grooves and vocal direction that it takes away what thrash metal is supposed to be about – the mighty riff. This is nowhere close to the riff-o-rama thrash metal of the heyday. Now it is unfair to compare a modern thrash album to the masterpieces of the Golden Age, but this is the boys of Overkill we are talking about. This album is so vocally oriented, it just annoys me severely. Bobby "Blitz" is doing the UDO, AC/DC worship thing on the vocals far too much. For example, the second track on the album – "Love" – Good lord what the hell is that about? It sounds like a homeless bum is singing the blues in a downtown subway station. It doesn't belong on a thrash album; and certainly not on an Overkill one. The production is a bit messy, but it does justice to what this is supposed to be. An over polished production job would probably have ruined the sound even further. Overkill do throw in some good riffs on here sometimes, but the solos are tiny and always leave you craving for more.

I've read mixed reviews for this album and people seem to be at opposite extremes on this one. You will just have to test it out yourself somehow. The only thing I can say is the comparison with Killbox 13. There were those that liked that album and those that didn't. I'm sure this album is going to divide the audience along the same lines as that one. Groove oriented thrash is good sometimes and Overkill have been doing it for a while now. It just isn't working for me anymore though.

This is two thumbs down from me.

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