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Review: Overkill - ReliXIV

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


Review online: February 18, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.77/5 (75.45%) (22 Votes)

14th album from the legendary New Jersey thrashers. Let's make something clear right away: If you were expecting them to release something along the lines of their classics of yesteryears, you can stop reading right now, for you'll be in for a deception. "ReliXIV" has more in common with its predecessor "Killbox 13" than with the band's early material. Basically you get some decent, straightforward thrash metal, but nothing too exciting. The basic Overkill sound signature is lurking in there, but obviously these guys aren't going to re-release the same stuff that made their name, and aren't going to reinvent thrash either. The vocals are unmistakably Blitz's, whose screechy style seems to be almost a love or hate thing for most people. There's a little twist in sound - musically and vocally - on the album closer "Old School" which is a lighthearted, funny song about the old school. This in fact is probably the only song here that will get stuck in your head, as the rest of the album is good on the moment, but doesn't really leave a lasting impression, except for a few passages here and there.

I liked this album a lot more on the first few listens, but repeated listens have highlighted some "flaws". It's not a bad album, but not a great one either, with the songs varying from average to good - listenable but not essential. If you liked Overkill's later output, you'll most likely like this too. But if you gave up on the band years ago, this won't win you back. As far as I'm concerned, the band still "has it" - they're sticking to their roots, and the material is good overall. I liked giving this one more than its share of spins in the past few days, but I'll most likely get my Overkill fix from earlier material in the future.

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