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Overkill – Relix IV

Label: Spitfire Records
Format: CD
Released: 2005
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

One thing Overkill has been good at is consistency, always making old school high grade thrash metal, never selling out or following the trends. Since 1985, bassist DD Verni and vocalist Bobby Blitz have been the core of the band, drummer Tim Mallare has stuck with them since ‘95’, with seven different guitarist appearing on fourteen releases. Today, and within the last ten years, they have incorporated a slightly different sound and delivery to their songs. The essence to their music is still Thrash, a focus on speed, but since the early 90’s they obviously don’t sound as they did in the 80’s, and have evolved in their own way.


What "Relix IV" does is sees the musical arrangements moving along the same lines as their last album "Killbox 13", and I also hear other elements from some of their other music from the 90’s. This being said, tracks are mostly anchored in chunky grooves, they create dynamics by using just two guitars and bass, with portions of thrashy segments.

Example; 'Within Your Eyes', which I was hoping would have started off better and had a killer build up, maybe something like 'Where it Hurts' from the album "W.F.O." or 'Coma' from "Horroscope", 'Love', and 'Loaded Rack', all mid paced with an emphasis on groove. 'A Pound of Flesh' is what I’m talking about, full steam ahead Thrash Overkill style with guitarist Dave Links as usual give the song that frantic feel with the way he arranges the solo. This also brings thing back in time a bit to the vibe of "Under the Influence". As is with 'Keeper', which starts with a squealing guitar riff and accompanying trademark Blitz scream to keep with the song’s maniacal riffing pace and tempo changes.

The one song I just can’t listen to is 'Old School', aside from the over used silly title, is it’s deliberate punk rock arrangement. Yes, I know this is Overkill tipping their hat to their influences and having some fun, but I would rather have heard the lyrics included in an Overkill song. Man I hope they don’t play this one live, they have much better material to pull from. I like "Relix", it’s not my fav, but its solid Overkill. Honestly I like when they favor their thrashier side, like what they were doing with "Bloodletting", "Horroscope", and "Taking Over".

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