OVERKILL - NECROSHINE - CMC/BMG
In many eyes Overkill can do no wrong. The band has been serving the metal nation for nigh on twenty years, and has seldom (i.e. I Hear Black) disappointed. In other words, America's perennial thrashers have stood as the paradigm of consistency more often than not. Necroshine, unfortunately, will probably put a dent in that relationship. The album is not bad in itself. In fact, great riffs and musicianship abound. What prompts the concerns is Necroshine's affinity for utilizing impure or trendy elements taboo to a real metal fan. While the album opener kicks off in a strong fashion, Necroshine quickly degenerates into a Machine Head copy riff which is an insult to an Overkill fan. There are good song here like I Am Fear or good soloing as on Revelation, but those power chord-ridden, mechanical sounds which run rampant throughout this CD are not only cause for concern, but have already given rise to rumours regarding the band's future direction. That direction remains to be determined given the departure of one guitarist and the band's discovery of a 'modern' and trendy sound.
This is not a disaster by any means and once the band hit somewhere near Metallian Towers I will surely be there, but on the other hand one would be hard-pressed to find anything akin to Coma, Bastard Nation or Elimination on this. Approach with caution. - Ali "The Metallian"
OVERKILL - RELIXIV - SPITFIRE
The Overkill formula of an opener building up to its full speed describes Within Your Eyes. This is built as an album that explores all their previous work and as early as the second song, Love, one hears the odd breaks and 'grooves' that made Overkill's latter albums like Necroshine less appealing to fans of early Overkill. Loaded Rack has a lot in common with the best of Overkill and is a song that can truly claim to have an attitude. Bats In The Belfry is close to the From The Underground And Below era and is nevertheless an effective song helped by Blitz's screams. A Pound Of Flesh is a fast thrashy song somewhat similar to Coma. One of the fastest Overkill have ever done A Pound Of Flesh even ventures into Slayer territory. Keeper is next and keeps it on the heavy side. Wheelz, The Mark and Play The Ace do not make as hard as an impact as the two that proceeded them. The punkish Old School closes the album and is a familiar anthem song, with lines like 'they said this would never last' and 'we never gave a shit.'
Entirely self-produced ReliXIV features D.D.Verni's famous bass sound, Blitz close to his best and a sound that is raw and rather sharp. Overall ReliXIV has enough to confirm Overkill as one of the better bands of the past twenty years. - Anna Tergel