Rating:
6.4
Overkill - Under The Influence
5 July 1988


01. Shred
02. Never Say Never
03. Hello From The Gutter
04. Mad Gone World
05. Brainfade
06. Drunken Wisdom
07. End Of The Line
08. Head First
09. Overkill III (Under The Influence)


"Under the Influence" marked a huge evolutionary step from the speedy heavy metal of their two previous albums to the thrash metal band we now know. The most immediately noticeable difference are the changes in the production department, which finally caught up with that of their peers. The whole album generally sounds clearer and better, and it would be Overkill's best production if it were not for the clanking of D.D. Verni's bass. While an audible bass is, simply because of the rarity of occurrence, something special on a thrash metal album, getting used the bass on Under the Influence requires a lot of patience.

On the more positive side, Bobby Ellsworth's vocals, while still sounding more the work of a capable singer rather than of an archetypal thrash metal shouter, have a nastier, rougher edge to them. His (even through snarls) light-hearted sounding delivery adds a dose of freshness many other thrash bands were lacking. The perhaps only real complaint is the at times rather chaotic and sloppy playing by guitarist Bobby Gustavson. This may very well be a matter of taste (after all many well known bands such as Kreator and Sodom played far sloppier) but I personally prefer a more precise approach.

And lastly the compositions are far more unified and focused. Which makes it hard to discern real highlight as, two or perhaps three notable exceptions aside, the songs hardly leave a lasting impression on their own. "Hello From the Gutter" is a real monster and most likely the reason why you will be buying this album. The catchy and yet powerful and intense main riff makes it easily one if the most accessible and memorable thrash metal songs ever written. The other obvious highlight is the concert favourite album opener "Shred", which is a fitting way of introducing the listener to Overkill's new sound.

The remaining tracks are not without merit, for instance the the bass line of "Head First" is great, despite clanking, and the chorus of "End of the Line" is quite nice as well, but still "Under the Influence" is the weakest of the first five Overkill records, only hinting at the quality yet to come.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Overkill
Album: Under The Influence


 


written by DayFly | 10.12.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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CliffemAll - 05.12.2009 at 09:23  
Highly disagree! This is my favorite Overkill of all!
Growing - 09.04.2010 at 20:40  
Why is the rating 6.4 when the other 4 sub-ratings are all better?
DayFly - 09.04.2010 at 21:00  
Written by Growing on 09.04.2010 at 20:40

Why is the rating 6.4 when the other 4 sub-ratings are all better?

Because the whole is more than the sum of it's parts. The album is reasonably good during it's running time but does not leave much impression afterwards. Since Overkill (and plenty of other thrash metal bands) released albums without that deficiency Under the Influence got a lower rating.
Growing - 09.04.2010 at 23:17  
Quote:
Quote:

Because the whole is more than the sum of it's parts. The album is reasonably good during it's running time but does not leave much impression afterwards. Since Overkill (and plenty of other thrash metal bands) released albums without that deficiency Under the Influence got a lower rating.

OK,i understand.
JohnWayneGacy666 - 10.04.2010 at 18:07  
NO way 6.4 is a joke of a rating Overkill is one off my favorite bands this is one of their best albums 8.5 out of 10
AndMetalForAll - 03.04.2012 at 14:41  
Don't agree with the rating, it's a great album...different from the previous two albums, but still pretty amazing.

Very heavy, fast...and definitely sick in his concept.

greets,
AndMetalForAll
Maco - 21.06.2013 at 00:28  
I am with you. I love overkill, but this album is average.
pkillerjp - 11.03.2014 at 20:50  
6 is a gift, this album blows.

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