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Overkill | Bloodletting | review | metal | Lollipop


Bloodletting (BMG)
by Tim Den

One word - ironically also one of the band's own songs - sums up Overkill: "Undying." After fifteen years, thirteen releases (counting the infamous !!!Fuck You!!! EP and the double live album), six guitarists, and three drummers, this NY stalwart continues to churn out solid metal records whether the public cares or not. Overkill lives and breathes for its hardcore fans, and that's all they're looking out for. No commercial break-through attempts, no incorporation of Gothic or classical undertones, just the thunderous and always-reliable bass crunch of D.D. Verni and the snarl of Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth. Bloodletting is no different, the only exception being that it's the first Overkill record in ten years to feature only one guitarist (guitarist/vocalist Joe Cameau quit right before recording to become the frontman of Annihilator, leaving David Lynsk to do all the work). Sounding eager to return to the more melodic magic of the band's titanic three-album streak ('91's Horroscope, '93's I Hear Black, and '94's W.F.O.), "Blitz" is hitting the higher notes and the guitars are shredding more than they were on stompers like From the Underground and Below. Older fans like myself will rejoice, welcoming back the familiar approach over the pseudo-blues material of recent years (even though it does show up here and there, most notably on "Let it Burn"), but the question remains... how long 'til even the die-hard fans stop caring? With a back catalog as rich as Overkill's, it's only a matter of time before fans lose track of the band's newest moves due to saturation. What will the Wrecking Crew do then? In the unfortunate event of The Bronx Casket Co. going full-time, I'll at least be able to block it out by blasting "Thanx for Nothin'" really loud.


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