Location: Old Bridge Township, New Jersey
Genre: Thrash Metal
Released: July 18, 2014
Format Reviewed: FLAC
Feature: Global Conquest – Recent Releases
By: Kris Kotlarik
New Jersey is always the butt of many jokes in American culture. And with good reason; by my estimation, Overkill is one of only four great bands to come from the state of New Jersey. The others? Symphony X, The Dillinger Escape Plan and fellow thrashers Whiplash. Feel free to prove me wrong, though. Overkill has been going at it since 1980. Lead singer Bobby Blitz is 55 years old and still making good music. Take that, Metallica.
All joking aside (I really don’t have anything against Metallica), White Devil Armory picks up from where The Electric Age left off. And in saying that, I mean that this is basically The Electric Age 2: Another Day To Die. Quick, somebody get me Universal Studios on the phone.
Much like Electric Age, there’s some lyrical silliness, which is most prominent in the single, “Armorist.” The bridge sections are on point; “Bitter Pill” is this album’s “Electric Snake,” which I consider to be a high compliment. And of course, there’s plenty of thrash metal goodness to be had.
“Where There’s Smoke…” is the most complete song from start to finish, propelled by a solid thrash riff. “Pig” is also a solid track. If you’re looking for groovy bass lines, “Down To The Bone” is the track for you. “Freedom Rings,” the longest track on the album with a minute to spare, is a good listen and has a nice guitar solo towards the end.
The main criticism of White Devil Armory is the lack of truly groundbreaking music. In essence, Overkill is reinventing the wheel, fine-tuning the rims and and filling up the tires to the max. One positive point to take from both records are the closing two tracks, which break away from the norms established by the other songs; in this case, “It’s All Yours” has a midsection that is completely different from the rest of the album and boasts a catchy chorus as an added bonus. “In The Name” is a thrash metal march, and a rather majestic one at that.
There are two bonus tracks, which were not on the version I received. One of them is a cover of Nazareth‘s “Miss Misery,” while the other is called “The Fight Song.” It is apparently not a cover of the Marilyn Manson song of the same name, although it would be an interesting cover to say the least.
Overall: Much like my review of Vader’s new album, White Devil Armory may not be reinventing the thrash metal genre, but it fits the bill for what we expect from Overkill. The pointless intro, which is absent on The Electric Age, brings down the score.