Rating:
8.0
Overkill - White Devil Armory
18 July 2014


01. XDM
02. Armorist
03. Down To The Bone
04. PIG
05. Bitter Pill
06. Where There's Smoke
07. Freedom Rings
08. Another Day To Die
09. King Of The Rat Bastards
10. It's All Yours
11. In The Name
12. The Fight Song [Deluxe edition bonus]
13. Miss Misery [Nazareth cover] [feat. Mark Tornillo] [Deluxe edition bonus]


Pyromania is a serious condition and suffice to say, Overkill know their way around a thrash flint. Within the modern state of the genre where there's smoke, there's a bunch of seniors laying waste to their youthful contemporaries with ridiculous ease and an undying delight for incineration. These veterans always go in blazing.

The Electric Age was staunchly consistent, its most obvious strength lying in its robust, albeit tightly uniform, song writing. White Devil Armory demonstrates that versatility is not lost to Overkill, offering a more varied track list than its predecessor and maintaining the same streak of excellence they've managed since Ironbound solidified the band's song writing processes for their own new age of thrash induced devastation. This all comes with carbon fibre quality in the riff writing and the kind of delivery that belies the band's near-antiquity. Letting loose with the memorable riff rolling of tracks like "PIG" shows a band not only still in the game, but still defining the rules of the game. Blitz needn't resign his pseudonym as he sounds as viciously vigorous as ever as the guitars follow their familiar lines with a familiar razor edge.

Thrash is typically repetitive by nature, but it's evident that there's more of an active consideration for track distinction here, certainly more-so than can be said of the previous record. Of course it'd be too much to expect anything near what could be described as "diverse" from Overkill, the band being clearly set in their ways, which proves yet again to be for the best. Yet their ways receive noticeable variation in White Devil Armory, being given more of an assorted arrangement as well as maintaining the thrash drawn bite which recent years have bewilderingly afforded them with such energy and drive. I'd bring up a particular cliché regarding wine and age here, but there really isn't the time for that given the usual high-octane performance from these old dogs. Thrash is serious business, and business is as good as ever for Overkill.

While this album often lacks the same power and propulsion of efforts like Ironbound, the guitars are no less hook prone in the soloing and prevailing in the rhythm section. With repetition essentially being thrash's stylistic guarantee the instrumentation can quite easily fall flat into the mundane, yet Overkill are always one step ahead and utilise the punchy repetitive riff basis as an effective platform for the leads and biting grit of vocal arrangements. It's obvious of White Devil Armory that the band actively attempted to withhold the repetitive nature of their arsenal, and merely fall back on a rehash of albums preceding this effort. Of course it's all still very much Overkill, which continues to equate to stability and relevance in an otherwise suffering genre.

Despite being album number seventeen for the American veterans, thrash these days rarely gets any fresher than what this record has in store. It's surely more quality Overkill and White Devil Armory is no deviation from their recently consistent strength in the studio.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 9


Band profile: Overkill
Album: White Devil Armory


 



Written on 19.07.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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HuSam - 19.07.2014 at 10:55  
Great review!i really love this album!overkill FTW!THRASH MASTERS!
deadone - 21.07.2014 at 02:17  
Interesting review.

It sounds like it's good to be a good album even though probably not brilliant.
R'Vannith - 21.07.2014 at 06:01  
Written by deadone on 21.07.2014 at 02:17

Interesting review.

It sounds like it's good to be a good album even though probably not brilliant.


Fans will have a hard time being disappointed by it I think. I don't exaggerate when I say that the band's still going strong.
deadone - 21.07.2014 at 07:25  
Written by R'Vannith on 21.07.2014 at 06:01


Fans will have a hard time being disappointed by it I think. I don't exaggerate when I say that the band's still going strong.



IMO as a band they've been quite consistent over the years even when they went groove. Sure there's some clunkers ala the godawful WFO but overall it's always enjoyable. I don't think they've ever topped their 1989-91 output though.
R'Vannith - 21.07.2014 at 10:05  
Written by deadone on 21.07.2014 at 07:25


IMO as a band they've been quite consistent over the years even when they went groove. Sure there's some clunkers ala the godawful WFO but overall it's always enjoyable. I don't think they've ever topped their 1989-91 output though.


Their groove material is some of the best in that style. Generally to these ears its not as good as either their earlier or more recent "thrashier" outings, but still competent stuff, that's for sure.
deadone - 22.07.2014 at 01:46  
Written by R'Vannith on 21.07.2014 at 10:05

Written by deadone on 21.07.2014 at 07:25


IMO as a band they've been quite consistent over the years even when they went groove. Sure there's some clunkers ala the godawful WFO but overall it's always enjoyable. I don't think they've ever topped their 1989-91 output though.


Their groove material is some of the best in that style. Generally to these ears its not as good as either their earlier or more recent "thrashier" outings, but still competent stuff, that's for sure.



Necroshine was a very good little album in that period!
Timelord - 25.07.2014 at 12:08  
Many moons ago in 1889(seems that way to me anyway) Overkill released their Reign in Blood/Among the Living in the album 'The Years of Decay". Still to this day YoD is one of the best sounding productions of that era. What else can be said about "Horrorscope!? Things were going great for Overkill THEN as with many thrash bands of the day, they began to shift directions in an attempt to remain relevant and we were entering Overkill mk. 2 with "I hear Black". All I heard was shit! It then became up, down and all around as far as style goes. Not until "Ironbound" did they return to what they do best and thats 110% thrash. That is what makes IB,EA and now WDA good. It isn't hard to see that Overkill has decided to stick with a formula. What happens though is it becomes tired and each album not as good as the last. I like "White Devil Armory" but it is starting to be bit generic just like Slayer's last couple albums. (Christ Illusion/World Painted Blood). I give it a generous 7.5.
Lord_Regnier - 27.07.2014 at 07:11  
Written by Timelord on 25.07.2014 at 12:08

THEN as with many thrash bands of the day, they began to shift directions in an attempt to remain relevant and we were entering Overkill mk. 2 with "I hear Black". All I heard was shit! It then became up, down and all around as far as style goes. Not until "Ironbound" did they return to what they do best and thats 110% thrash.


That was part of the problem with Thrash in the 90's. Bands started to branch in all kinds of weird directions and lost their identity in the process. Even my all-time favorite Thrash band, Kreator, started to suck with "Renewal" and only became good again with "Violent Revolution", when they returned to what they were great at, which is Thrash Metal.

As for Overkill, I never liked the band but it's not hard to hear that "Horrorscope" is much better than "I Hear Black".
Timelord - 27.07.2014 at 08:46  
Written by Lord_Regnier on 27.07.2014 at 07:11

Written by Timelord on 25.07.2014 at 12:08

THEN as with many thrash bands of the day, they began to shift directions in an attempt to remain relevant and we were entering Overkill mk. 2 with "I hear Black". All I heard was shit! It then became up, down and all around as far as style goes. Not until "Ironbound" did they return to what they do best and thats 110% thrash.


That was part of the problem with Thrash in the 90's. Bands started to branch in all kinds of weird directions and lost their identity in the process. Even my all-time favorite Thrash band, Kreator, started to suck with "Renewal" and only became good again with "Violent Revolution", when they returned to what they were great at, which is Thrash Metal.

As for Overkill, I never liked the band but it's not hard to hear that "Horrorscope" is much better than "I Hear Black".


To not come across one sided let me say that I see the whole picture. Being a musician myself I understand the need to do different things or it gets very stale. I love music as a whole. So if its getting onstage with Jeff Clayton doing GG Allin's "Violence Now",Jamming with Joe Buck Yourself on some outlaw country or whatever. Point is I am aware of becoming trapped into one style and have made sure to not let that happen. If some of these bands hadn't gone through their "experimental" phase they wouldn't have returned with such ferocity. I would have taken a break from Kreator to do other things THEN return ready to destroy. But thats just me.

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