Overkill – “White Devil Armory” (Nuclear Blast Records)
34 years on, 17 albums later and New Jersey crew Overkill are true to form dishing out the dirt in their street smart n sassy thrash just like how it was back in the 80s. Still with Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellesworth and DD Verni from the original line-up, Overkill built up their fearsome reputation through relentless live touring where their music shredded audiences across the globe over the decades. Having seen them live many times, they are without doubt a European festival favorite where rain or shine their no nonsense metal gives rabid crowds just what they want time n again – destruction to the max! “White Devil Armory” continues that trend – just check out the sledgehammer power of ‘Where There’s Smoke’ and you’ll know just what I’m taking about – dirty strummed bass, raw twin guitars chainsawing away and pummeling drum work along with Blitz’s larynx shredded screaming vocals and punk shout outs with heaps of attitude born on the street. This is Overkill baby! But amazingly to some there is some variety to the material on this one. Don’t be expecting any ballads or any kind’ve wimped out shit, this is Overkill afterall, but on ‘Bitter Pill’ they slow things down to half speed and go for a dark n heavy approach while on ‘Another Day To Die’ its more of a street punk swankin groove with naturally loads of attitude as Blitz broodingly purrs ‘…stone cold killer gonna send me home…’ while Skull and Linsk’s guitars chop da meat n crank out some sassy melodies – oh man, this is heaven! With the rest of the album following suit incorporating subtle elements here and there, it keeps Overkill’s material fresh n variable to the point where it’s consistent but not colorless. Closing with the epic ‘In The Name’, Overkill even bring in some NWOBHM guitars and melodies before turning it into a Priest like rocker and finally evoking punk chanting towards the end – to anyone else this would be contrived but to these street kids now in their 50s its just who and what they are.