“Immortalis” by Overkill

Artist: Overkill
Title: “Immortalis”
Label: Bodog Music”
Release Date: 10/9/2007
Genre: Thrash Metal
Rating: 3.5/5

Now some twenty seven years into their career the guys in Overkill have little to prove about their mastery of the Thrash Metal movement that is now mainly considered a vital segment of the hallowed Old School sound that many of us grew up on. Despite this, the legendary Thrashers return with “Immortalis”, their 14th studio effort, and it is here that we find the band returning more to their classic sound with just enough of the Metal fury of today. It also found the band reunited with Johnny and Marsha Zazula who helped initially launch the Overkill name into the Metal stratosphere. As an album it’s solid and definitely shows the world that they are not relics from the past who don’t know the scene that is around in Metal’s present day. One of the songs that prove this quite clearly is “Skull And Bones” which offers up a duet between Blitz and Randy Blythe from that band they call Lamb Of God (perhaps some of you have heard of them :). The two bands shared the stage at the second Gigantour and it was a great way for the Old School to meet the New. When compared to their last studio release “ReliXIV”, I have to admit that I liked this one a little bit more because on top of the thrashing there was a little more musical experimentation than I expected to find Overkill doing. Of course the band could always play, but this time they showed different skills in my opinion and the signs of their being elder statesman of the genre were a little more visible.

A good example would be during “Hell Is” which is a speedy track at some portions but then slows down to a chunky groove to give you a breather before it begins to kick your ass again. I prefer the changeups as opposed to one throttling contiguous riff nowadays because that will get boring even if it’s Overkill who is doing it. I found a definite driving tune on “Walk Through Fire” because when it played I just felt myself sitting in the car with friends as we headed on to the next Metal show. Perhaps you will come to a different conclusion but that was mine. The Blitz’s voice sounds as intense as always but he does tend to show that he can change it up as he needs to and maybe it was his side-project The Cursed that led him to try some different vocal things this time around. D.D. Verni remains one of the top Metal bassists around and continues to dole out the thunderous bass riffs. The guitars are once again ably handled by Tailer and Linsk who are proving to be a worthy pairing for the continuation of Overkill music going forward. They sound good together and that’s all that matters. The album does find their new drummer recording with them for the first time with Ron Lipnicki, who stepped in for Tim Mallare a couple of years ago. His playing seems to work for the band pretty well so I think he was a good choice as far as players went.

I’ve always found that you get what you paid for with Overkill and their music. Like all bands they have had ups and downs and hits and misses but with the reunion of the Z’s with their core writing membership I think that we have another winning release on our hands from the band and perhaps their best in a number of years. They continue along the same path that they helped to forge and remind us that they are not going away any time soon. As far as the classic Metal sound, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Track Listing:
1. Devils In The Mist
2. What It Takes
3. Skull And Bones
4. Shadow Of A Doubt
5. Hellish Pride
6. Walk Through Fire
7. Head On
8. Chalie Get Your Gun
9. Hell Is
10. Overkill V

Official Website: www.wreckingcrew.com

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