“ReliXIV” (re-release) by Overkill

Artist: Overkill
Title: “ReliXIV” (remaster)
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 11/2/2009
Rating: 3/5

Originally released in 2005 on Spitfire Records, the fine folks over at Metal Mind Productions have done the Wrecking Crew a service and re-released remastered editions of three of Overkills most recent albums. They’ve been given the treatment and sound fantastic and are limited to 1000 copies, but let’s hope that changes once interest in the band picks up steam again with their new album in early 2010. We presented thoughts on this release at the time of its first issue and are re-presenting that commentary for your review below and then offering up some additional thoughts on the remaster.

“Overkill is one of those Metal bands who have been able to withstand the tests of time as far as the music industry is concerned. Veterans to the Thrash Metal genre and Legends among their peers these NY/NJ natives have proven time and time again the level of quality and dedication that they have to their craft. For twenty years they have delivered a neck wrecking Thrashing to a legion of diehard Metal heads that show up in throngs to each and every performance. The new album of “ReliXIV” takes their 14th recording to a slightly different level. After so many years of straight ahead Thrash Metal adventures, this album leans more towards a grinding Heavy Metal vibe. Instead of blazing through it all the guys allow that a little slower head banging can be done as they mix their classic style elements into a more traditional Metal based album. Of all bands they deserve the right to experiment a little bit and after 14 albums loaded with influential songs it’s nice to see that they can change course and still deliver. Core members and founders Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) still run the machine and drive the course of their brand without fail. Tim Mallare (drummer for some years) along with Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer (both on guitars) deliver a different level of shredding and thrashing for the fans to absorb. Songs like “Pound Of Flesh” and “The Mark” have the classic Overkill feel to them, but “Within Your Eyes” and “Love” are totally out of the normal expectation that the fans might have of their idols. The homage to their past shines on the closing track “Old School” which lines out the bands philosophy on their beginnings and also holds a little respect to their early Punk Rock roots. I really enjoyed the fun spirited nature of this track. So here is where your decision comes in, do you accept change and difference in the bands you enjoy or do they need to remain as you remembered them from the very beginning? If you agree that the only constant is change then you can accept the different sounds that the band gives us here. If you cannot, then you should buy it anyway out of support of your idols. There is some fun and interesting stuff here and I am sure Overkill shall return to give a proper thrashing once again very soon.”

The release is packaged in the standard digipak case that we find being the deal with most of the MMP remasters and that nice but remember that these kind of CD’s need a little more care since its all cardboard as opposed to plastic. The main inside offers up a healthy bit of band history but if you are truly one of the Old School fans you might need to reach for your glasses to read this stuff. It’s small and is white text on black background. A booklet is enclosed which is slightly different in its format than in its content from the original release. The predecessor was a multi-page foldout with lyrics and five band photos while the remastered edition puts all of this together in a booklet which I prefer more to be quite honest. A downside for this remaster is the lack of any bonus tracks but perhaps none were even available or left off when the band first recorded the album. Overkill is currently signed to E1 Entertainment and their new CD is coming soon and called “Iron Bound”. “ReliXIV” was the predecessor to “Immortalis” which came to us in 2007 and it is the last album to feature the drumming of longtime skin basher Tim Mallare. If you don’t have this release already then I say seek it out for your collection because if you are still finding yourself supporting Overkill at this stage in their career then I know you will want a complete representation of their catalog in your collection no matter what.

Track Listing:
1. Within Your Eyes
2. Love
3. Loaded Rack
4. Bats In The Belfry
5. A Pound Of Flesh
6. Keeper
7. Wheelz
8. The Mark
9. Play The Ace
10. Old School

Official Web site: http://www.WreckingCrew.com

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