CD Review: Overkill – White Devil Armory

CD Review: Overkill – White Devil Armory
eOne Music
All Access Rating: A

Overkill - White Devil Armory 2014
Not the type to undergo any kind of mid-life crisis, Overkill seems to be growing more potent with age. And their latest eOne Music release, White Devil Armory, is stocked with enough weapons-grade rage to destroy anything that crosses the veteran East Coast thrash-metal syndicate.

Simply unwilling to rest on their laurels after heaps of praise were piled on 2012's The Electric Age, Overkill issues beat down after epic beat down on a punishing new album that's not for the faint of heart. Beware of these mangy, rabid junkyard dogs: their behavior is unpredictable, they're diseased and the steely jaws of their brand of crunching, chaotic thrash will violently chop and tear through flesh without a conscience, snapping bones like twigs.

If possible, White Devil Armory is even more intense, visceral and aggressive than The Electric Age, and that's saying something. Full of adrenaline, Overkill kicks and punches and bites in the street fight that is "Armorist," a hard-hitting affair that takes baseball bats and lead pipes to knees, heads and ribs of anybody that, for one second, thinks Overkill's best days are behind them. And "Where There's Smoke" is even more violent, moving at the speed of a runaway freight train until ending in a smoldering crash.

White Devil Armory is Overkill at their most exciting and brutal, as "Freedom Rings" gathers momentum and races ahead, the drums of Ron Lipnicki stampeding alongside ruthless guitar riffs sharpened to draw blood, just as they do in the swirling sandstorm that is "PIG," a song with enormous hooks, a breathless pace and a tempo shift that nobody would see coming. Heavier and more melodic, but no less scary or tense, the slow-burning "Bitter Pill" is dark and sinister. It's the most well-constructed song on White Devil Armory and one that has all the seductive powers of the devil, while "King of the Rat Bastards" and "It's All Yours" grab listeners by the throat and throw them around like rag dolls.

With the teeth-rattling, venomous vocals of Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth leading the charge and the beefed-up sound of the record managing somehow to keep up with the band's barely harnessed energy, Overkill's dynamic precision is something to behold, stopping on a dime when ready to suddenly change course and the raging guitars of Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer moving in for the kill like sharks smelling blood and erupting into an all-out feeding frenzy at just the right moment. Swim in White Devil Armory at your own risk.
– Peter Lindblad

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