Overkill – White Devil Armory
(4 / 5)
It’s official, we are in the midst of a thrash metal resurgence and Overkill is at the forefront. Joining them in this glorious celebration is Anthrax, Testament, Exodus, and Machine Head. If you’re a fan of this type of music I’d imagine you’re feeling pretty good right about now. Much better than the dark ages of the mid-90’s and early 00’s.
Ever since 2010’s “Ironbound” Overkill has been on a whole new kick. Gone are the groove metal and nu-metal trappings that held them back in the past. That crisp, cutting sound thrash metal guitars are supposed to make is all over “White Devil Armory.” You see, if the guitars get too heavy thrash becomes groove, which is a bad thing unless the name of your band is Pantera.
The band itself if ridiculously tight on this record. This is the most stable lineup Overkill has ever had and it shows. “White Devil Armory” showcases a band that knows what they want to do, and then does it. There is an overwhelming sense of confidence in this recording. Simply put, they know full well they are kicking your ass. I can’t put it any better than a line from the track “King of the Rat Bastards” where singer Bobby Blitz declares, “What we got here is a fight ot the death, no mediocrity.”
Highlights include (but are not limited to) “The Armorist” featuring an incredible drum performance by Ron Lipnicki and some of the best gang vocals you’ve heard since back in the day. Then you get a little further into the album and “Bitter Pill” happens. This was the song where my jaw literally dropped. I love this song. From it’s eerie opening to it’s sudden buildup this track goes through three or four changes before the first minute and it all seems so natural. Then you get to the superb delivery of Blitz’s lyrics which continue to be very atmospheric. I applaud Blitz for this punchy, fragmented delivery on this song.
In closing, “White Devil Armory” finds Overkill at the top of their game. Great performances are heard all around as the stellar, bare bones production showcases the sound this band can make. There’s no need for bells and whistles here, what you see is what you get and it’s a beautiful thing to behold.