Overkill

Dystopia A.D. – Rise of the Merciless Review

Dystopia A.D. – Rise of the Merciless Review

“Preconceptions are fun, aren’t they? When I tell you Dystopia A.D. is a 2-man unsigned band from Jersey, or Joisey as it’s colloquially known, you’re already forming a picture in your head. If you’re like me, you’re probably expecting some sort of politically charged thrash, possibly of a crossover or core-related variety. Dystopia is, after all, a word that inherently defines a result of particular forms of governance, and Jersey is known primarily for blue collar thrash, Overkill of course its flag carrier. Combine that with the unsigned 2-man band and the picture seems complete. Except it’s utterly, utterly wrong.” Garden state fake.

Ross the Boss – Born of Fire Review

Ross the Boss – Born of Fire Review

Ross the Boss is one of those bands I can’t help rooting for, being as it’s the outfit of Ross Friedman, the man behind the guitar on all the classic Manowar albums. Those platters were a huge part of my early metal education and I still cherish them dearly, as all trve metal fans should. Ross’ post-Manowar projects have been somewhat hit or miss, and 2018s By Blood Sworn was very disappointing despite some major league talent coming on board to help out. Because of this, I majorly tempered expectations coming into their 4th album, Born of Fire.” Who’s the Boss?

Tulus – Old Old Death Review

Tulus – Old Old Death Review

“In 1993, while we were all giggling at ‘What About Bob?’ and rooting for the Minnesota Twins while wearing jean jackets and reading Seventeen magazine, Norwegian black metal band Tulus began churning out some evil tunes. Three demos, one compilation, one six-year breakup and reunion, minor lineup changes, and six full-lengths later, does 2020 promise newfound fame or do they need to stay buried for another thirty years?” What is old is olde.

Emerald – Restless Souls Review

Emerald – Restless Souls Review

“Emerald is a time capsule. The two years since our last meeting grayed the shit out of me, but their Swiss cheese popped out just as chipper and evergreen as I remember. I suppose I should appreciate knowing what to expect. 24 years on and 8 albums in, Emerald found their niche and niched the hell out of it. They’re the anti-power power band, the least dense of the heavy metals, sitting too squarely in the center of the palate to love or loathe. Vim without vigor, vinegar without piss, a good script but a poor adaptation. You know the drill—or do you?” Broken gems.

Paladin – Ascension Review

Paladin – Ascension Review

“In my early days of metal fandom, there was a period of roughly two years – spanning from the time I stumbled upon DragonForce,‘s Inhuman Rampage to when I began exploring Darkthrone‘s discography – where I listened to nothing except for power metal and thrash. During this period, as I worked on my sloppy renditions of “Eagle Fly Free” and “Battery” on a cheap Yamaha electric guitar my parents picked up at a department store, I had an epiphany: why the fuck hasn’t anyone mashed up the two best genres in the world?” One mash, coming up!

Overkill – The Wings of War Review

Overkill – The Wings of War Review

Overkill‘s ethos is overkill. It always has been. Be it their hyperactively punked out thrash or their New Jersey thug demeanor, everything with them is set to 12. On their 19th goddamn album, The Wings of War, little has changed. They’re still the scuzzy, bare knuckles brawlers from the Garden State who you would cross the street to avoid, and they deliver yet another overdose of hi-octane piss and vinegar-addled speed and ne’er-do-well attitude.” Fists up, head down.

Hellnite – Midnight Terrors Review

Hellnite – Midnight Terrors Review

“During their halcyon years Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax loomed large over the thrash landscape, basking in success and spawning a fanbase so large it defied a horizon. But there existed a tier below the A and B-listers, bands like Allegiance, Heathen and Xentrix who eked out a modest existence built on solid albums supported by a coterie of eager followers. This is not a vein you’d expect a modern thrash band to mine for inspiration, yet that is exactly where Hellnite have chosen to strike their pickaxe with their debut album, Midnight Terrors.” Mine the medium.

Sad Eyes – vIV0 Review

Sad Eyes – vIV0 Review

“As a wee lad, I met a guy at camp who was quite the contortionist. He delighted in the responses his disconcerting levels of flexibility granted him, basking in the wide-eyed, slack-jawed and mildly disgusted attention of his peers. However, his flexibility never garnered him any true friends. He was a spectacle, an object of attention, nothing more. Hailing from Spain, one-man death metal project Sad Eyes, helmed by Santi Gzlez, seeks to turn his project into a musical contortion of sorts, assembling an album with a list of collaborators longer than I’ve had friends.” Death metal camp is rough.

Metal Church – Damned if You Do Review

Metal Church – Damned if You Do Review

Metal Church is one of those hard working second-tier metal acts that experienced moments of first-tier greatness over a lengthy career, but never crossed over to the promised land. Their debut is still one of my favorite thrash albums, and Blessing in Disguise probably makes my desert island top 20. I supported them over the decades through numerous line-up changes, but the albums with the late great David Wayne and then Mike Howe on vocals truly captured my Steely heart. When Mr. Howe returned after 20 years in limbo for 2016’s XI opus, I was thrilled. It was an impressive reunion outing too, sounding like the band I loved throughout the 80s and 90s. Now we get Damned if You Do, the all important second post-reunion release.” Brawl at Olde Church.

Gama Bomb – Speed Between the Lines Review

Gama Bomb – Speed Between the Lines Review

“If you read lists of what women find attractive in men, Number Three is always a sense of humor. Since most men (including myself) will never have Numbers One or Two, this becomes a very important trait. Enter Gama Bomb, an Irish thrash band that loves to sing about Kurt Russell and Robocop. Their nerdy sense of humor has been a beacon on the thrash scene since their 2005 debut, Survival of the Fastest, and in some ways, they could be considered the AC/DC of thrash.” Run for our love!