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OVERKILL White Devil Armory

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Monday, August 11, 2014 @ 1:35 PM


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OVERKILL
White Devil Armory

EOne Music - 2014
http://www.wreckingcrew.com/





For the first time in four album releases from the band, the new OVERKILL album did NOT instantly catch fire with me. In fact, upon first listen I kind of hated White Devil Armory. I was so disdainful of the album initially that I had to talk about it with a couple of my online friends whose opinions could be trusted.

Their opinion was that the album was excellent. And so I had to check out the album a few more times to see if my opinion would change or stay the same. And while I may not value the opinions of most people, the opinions of these particular friends helped change my own view of the CD.

The album opens with the intro set piece "XDM" which feels almost like an orchestral piece leading into a cacophony of blazing fast and hardcore aggressive thrash metal.

To be fair, despite multiple listens, songs like "Pig" and "It's All Yours" remained flat and lifeless to me.

As a time saving device, let's acknowledge that OVERKILL will never be confused for a band of devious subtlety. They bludgeon you with one killer riff after another. The song "Bitter Pill" is what would pass as a "slow" song for this disc, but it is still very unrelenting and brutal. This song along with "Armorist" have videos available on Youtube. I wasn't crazy about the video for i<>"Armorist" but while just listening to the track on CD, the pacing was far more appreciated.

Songs like "Down To The Bone" and "Another Day To Die" work on the tempo level but where the former has a great rhythm throughout, I found that the latter track's beginning portion to the vocals a curious decision. They were just buried in the mix and while the song became better after the first lyrical passage, it could've been far more than it ended up being.

The title of "King Of The Rat Bastards" is a great one but it ended up being more enjoyable than the actual song. However, the anthemic chorus of "In The Name" gave a nice little boost to that particular song. As for "Freedom Rings", it is likely the best track on the standard version of the release.

The deluxe edition of White Devil Armory features a booklet that folds out into a mini poster of the band. On the reverse side is all the album credits save the lyrics for the two bonus tracks. ACCEPT singer Mark Tornillo guests on "Miss Misery". I had hoped for a bit more to the collaboration of two of the better power vocalists out there these days but overall the song was decent.

As for "The Fight Song", the intro to the track is cool and it only gets better as the song progresses. It is a more lighthearted feel (though the fast paced nature of the rest of the album remains) to the lyrics but it sits next to "Freedom Rings" as one of the best cuts on the disc.

I have liked the last few OVERKILL discs and while there is nothing so fundamentally different with White Devil Armory to account for why I originally had such a negative reaction to it, this album is not quite as successful in my mind as ReliXIV, Immortalis or The Electric Age. But after listening to people more in tune with the heaviness of OVERKILL than I seemed to have been, the repeated spins of the disc paid off and gave me a better understanding and appreciation.

Not everything works of course, but vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and his Wrecking Crew once again turned out a disc that is distinctly OVERKILL.

3.7 Out Of 5.0

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