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OVERKILL – Ironbound

Overkill – Ironbound (2010, E1 Music)

1. “The Green and Black” … 8:14
2. “Ironbound” … 6:35
3. “Bring Me the Night” … 4:18
4. “The Goal Is Your Soul” … 6:43
5. “Give a Little” … 4:44
6. “Endless War” … 5:43
7. “The Head and Heart” … 5:13
8. “In Vain” … 5:15
9. “Killing for a Living” … 6:16
10. “The SRC” … 5:03

Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Vocals
Dave Linsk – Guitar
Derek Tailer – Guitar
DD Verni – Bass
Ron Lipnicki – Drums

Producer: Overkill

I don’t know whether something went wrong with mixing, mastering or maybe just during the album’s pressing but a buzz has built up online over many people hearing static throughout the songs. I held off on getting the album because of this problem yet other people say their copies are fine, so I eventually took a gamble and ended up buying it. I put it in my computer and it played fine. The next day, I put it in my car stereo and that’s when the static pops up. I check the disc and there’s tons of scratches on it. The static ranges from small crackles you might hear on a distant radio station to full-blown fuzz that totally dominates depending on the track you’re listening to. So then I get home and pop it in my computer again and it plays perfectly. My copy of Metallica’s Death Magnetic had a similar issue (with an entirely different car). What is going on ?!?

This is pretty annoying and I think there is no excuse, given technology these days, that an album is defective like this. Whether this problem began in the studio or at the manufacturing plant, someone is getting paid to catch mistakes like these and they obviously weren’t doing their job on this occasion. Luckily, it just so happens I listen to most of my music on my computer but it is still nice to have options, especially when the album is brand new and I want to listen to it whenever I can.

Despite owning this album since a few weeks or so after it was released and giving it a few spins, I couldn’t bring myself to review it. In my younger years, I was a bit more open and interested in thrash (even then I basically limited myself to the more accessible bands like MetallicaMegadeth and Anthrax) and it’s only in the last year or so that I’ve slowly been dipping my toes into thrashy waters once again with the likes of Overkill, Testament and Evile. Therefore, I don’t really consider myself educated enough in the genre to give a fully formed opinion on albums and bands I’m not already familiar with. Oh well, let’s try it anyway…

Basically, to my ears, this is pure old school thrash and that’s the way I like it! “The Green and Black” and ‘Ironbound” (my favorite song off this album — great middle part) especially bring to mind ’80s thrash and the first four songs in particular are all very good. I don’t know how this compares to the rest of the band’s catalog but as a first-time listener, I am very satisfied and will be seeking out more Overkill albums.

Also, I love Ellsworth’s voice. He’s like a really ticked off and rougher sounding Bon Scott and all of this comesafter having had a stroke! Just amazing.

Highlights: “The Green and Black”, “Ironbound”, “Bring Me the Night”, “The Goal Is Your Soul”, “The Head and Heart”

Coming soon…

First and foremost I would like to announce that come Monday I will be posting up an interview with none other than producer Tom Werman. Nothing major, just a little Q&A he was kind enough to take time of out his day for. Very cool of him to do so.

Moving onto reviews, there’s a new number of recent releases I hope to be posting my thoughts on in the coming days:

The Awakening by DesDemon

Coup De Grace by Treat

The self-titled album by Jet Black Kiss

The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge by Lo-Pro

New Generation by Auras

And hopefully Ironbound by Overkill

Looking Forward to in 2010…

2009 was good, can 2010 be better? With these albums penciled in for 2010 it looks like we’ll have another good year for rock ‘n’ roll because there’s tons I’m looking forward to! I’ve listed tentative release dates where I could.

Ratt – Infestation (March): Ratt is one of the best bands to spring from the L.A. metal scene, I can’t wait to hear some new music from that.

Scorpions – Sting In The Tail: Well, hopefully we’ll see some new Scorpions. They haven’t gotten a U.S. distribution deal yet, but in this day of the internet, I don’t foresee any problems getting my hands on an import. According to the band, they’re going back to their “early ’80s” sound and scrapping the modern style they had on Humanity: Hour I. That’s a shame because I remember Klaus Meine being pretty adamant about the band not writing anymore “eighties” songs and I like Humanity a lot (which seemed to imply there’d be a sequel). Oh well, I liked 2004’s Unbreakable a lot too (the band’s most recent attempt at having that classic Scorpions sound), so either style they want is good with me.

Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony & Angel of Babylon (April 3): Edguy’s Tobias Sammet, one of my favorite vocalists, is back with his side project and he’s got two albums coming at us at once on the same day. The Scarecrow was really good and Sammet has tons of guest musicians lined up again, I just hope he hasn’t spread himself too thin by releasing two albums’ worth of material.

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