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Overkill/ Forbidden/ Evile/ Gama Bomb/ Bonded By Blood

Date: 11/20/10
Venue: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, New Jersey
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Overkill (who in 2010 are celebrating 25 years of making music) ended the last leg of touring in the U.S. for the year, supporting their latest album "Ironbound", in what better place than the Starland Ballroom in their home state of New Jersey. Joining them on this package, aside from a reunited Forbidden, are up and coming retro-thrashers Evile from England, Ireland's Gama Bomb, and Bonded By Blood from Cali. With label support and their hearts firmly planted in the 80s, all three very well could be on their way to becoming next generation successors to the originators; Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Overkill, Exodus, and Testament.






Bonded By Blood are a nice mix of older Testament and Megadeth, Gama Bomb's more akin to Anthrax's "Fistful Of Metal" and Vio-lence's classic "Eternal Nightmare", and Evile there is an influence of Slayer. Now while all three bands exude lots of energy on stage and playing ability, the problem lies in the vocals because they pretty much have similar tones and deliveries with little to no peaks and valleys. Their forefathers of course didn't have this problem; Joey Belladonna (Anthrax) was the most melodic (as with James Hetfield from Metallica) and neither have the same sneer as Dave Mustaine (Megadeth). Chuck Billy from Testament has the biggest bark, and no one has Overkill's Bobby Ellsworth's unique tone and talent for punctuating lyrics. Tom Araya (Slayer), and Paul Baloff (Exodus) of course are more harsh but still unique in their own way. Bonded By Blood, Gama Bomb, and Evile (see also Havok, Fueled By Fire, Municipal Waste, Warbringer) have more in common with the German Big Three: Destruction, Kreator, and Sodom because the voice lacks a melodic quality, and unlike the Americans, possesses less of that anthemic arena rock potential. What these new younger bands need to do if find a distinctive voice to stand alone amongst the pack. For example, I think Lazarus A.D. may be one band who have a winning combination of musical style and vocal which has the ability to capture the dynamics of a Metallica or Testament.



Forbidden, who emerged in the later 80s as part of the second wave of thrash with Death Angel, Heathen, and Vio-lence, return from a rather long hiatus (almost ten years) with a new album titled "Omega Wave". Original members Russ Anderson (vocals), guitarist Craig Locicero, and bassist Matt Camacho, are joined by Steve Smyth (who has also been in Testament and Nevermore) on second guitar and Mark Hernandez on drums for this 2010 lineup. The Jersey crowed were pretty interested in seeing the band back in action and remembered those classics ‘Step By Step', the title track to “Twisted Into Form”, and ‘Chalice Of Blood' from the debut "Forbidden Evil" from 1988. The band performed as if time had not past and by including a couple from the new album showed this was not just a trip down memory lane.



Overkill always are Overkill. They never had an interest in following the trends or experimenting too much within their formula to lose themselves (like Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax), always living up to their motto "We don't care what you say, Fuck You". Killing two birds with one stone, Overkill have been switching up the setlist for the "Ironbound"/25th anniversary tour, playing the “Ironbound” title track, ‘Bring Me The Night', opening the show with ‘The Green And Black', and recently adding in ‘Give a Little' amongst the classics ‘Rotten To The Core', ‘Wrecking Crew', ‘Hello From The Gutter', ‘Horrorscope', ‘Necroshine', and ‘Elimination'. Today we were treated to ‘Hammerhead' from the debut "Feel The Fire", ‘Infectious', and ‘Where It Hurts' off "W.F.O.", but at any given night during this tour you could also get ‘Coma' or ‘Nice Day For A Funeral', ‘Long Time Dyin' off "From the Underground and Below", or "In Union We Stand" from the classic "Taking Over". O, and I still dislike ‘Old School', hahahaha.

When it comes to performing, Overkill are at home, and age means nothing to them. Long time frontman Bobby "Blitz" immediately takes command of the stage in between songs, affectionately calling his Jersey hometown people ugly/crazy fuckers thanking everyone for the many years of support, celebrating the relationship between fan and band. Also an original member, bassist DD Verni, plays the bass low to the ground keepin the floor rumblin as Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer continue to be (for 10 years now) the Kill's six string team. Drummer Ron Lipnicki is the more recent addition to the family, hitting the kit hard and fast enough that it sounds like a war machine.

In 2011, Overkill will go back on the road in support of "Ironbound", playing a one off show in New York with German legends Accept in April. I look forward to their return.


Bonded By Blood:
Mind Pollution
Immortal Life
Blood Spilled Offerings
Feed the Beast
Another Disease
Prototype - Death Machine

Gama Bomb:
Zombie Blood Nightmare
Final Fight
Three Witches
Hammer Slammer
We Respect You
Hell Trucker
Last Ninjas Unite
Mummy Invasion
Zombi Brew

Infected Nation
We Who Are About to Die
Time No More
Enter the Grave

Alpha Century
March Into Fire
Step By Step
Adapt or Die
Omega Wave
Twisted Into Form
Through Eyes Of Glass
Chalice Of Blood

Green and Black
Rotten to the Core
Wrecking Crew
Bring Me the Night
Thanx for Nothin'
Give a Little
Hello From the Gutter
Where It Hurts
Old School
Fuck You
Overkill (Motorhead Cover)

*Note*: Aside from Overkill, the setlists are pretty accurate but may be off by a song or two.

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