Overkill – Horrorscope

Being my first album review ever, I wanted to start off with something that wouldn’t be a typical review in 2013.
(Which I doubt you’re going to find from the other authors on this particular page anyhow.)
The odds are I’ll be sticking to mostly metal albums, but who knows I might throw in a few curve balls along the way.

I took a little while going over albums on my iPod, and half way through one particular work day I slap on some Overkill and one of my favorite thrash albums ever, and decided this was it.

New Jersey Thrash Metal Legends Overkill’s 1991 faceraper ‘Horrorscope’ is arguably the darkest, and at the very least one of the heaviest albums in Overkill’s extensive sixteen album catalog and that really is saying something. The album also came at a very critical time for both the band and metal in general.

Coming off of the significant success of their previous album ‘The Years of Decay’ which is considered by many their very best in terms of both songwriting and production having worked with the iconic Terry Date. The album featured fan favorites E.vil N.ever D.ies (Overkill IV), Elimination, and my personal favorite, I Hate.

The band however was not content with following the same formula, as ‘The Years of Decay’ had offered several significant experimentations in of itself.
Firstly Bobby Gustafson, long time guitarist, and primary songwriter was asked to leave by founders and band leaders D.D. Verni, and Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth prior to and was quickly replaced by Faith or Fear guitarist Merritt Gant, and Gustafson’s own guitar tech Rob Cannavino.

Though the songwriting itself remains familiar largely due to the album being credited entirely to the writing team of Blitz and Verni, the new guitar duo swap solos that work well with the famed ever present attitude and aggression Overkill is known for, and Sid Falck offers his best drum work during his tenure with the band (though he would leave shortly thereafter), easily solidifying ‘Horrorscope’ as one of Overkill’s absolute best efforts.

Unlike ‘The Years of Decay’ there were no songs in particular that came anywhere near to flirting with ten minutes. What it does offer is a more refined, and heavier evolution of the Overkill style of the late 80’s, early 90’s, often replacing break neck speeds for crushing riffs that the band would continue to experiment with throughout the rest of the decade though maintaining a respectable thrash standard pace through much of the album.

The singles Coma, and Infectious, and the delightfully crushing title track along with the bands cover of Edgar Winter’s classic ‘Frankenstein’ have made ‘Horrorscope’ the bands most popular and bestselling album to date.

Bottom line, pick this shit up.

Phill

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