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Overkill - "White Devil Armory" (CD)

Overkill - "White Devil Armory" CD cover image

"White Devil Armory" track listing:

1. Freedom Rings
2. Where There's Smoke...
3. Pig
4. Amorist
5. Down To The Bone
6. Bitter Pill
7. King Of The Rat Bastards
8. Another Day To Die
9. It's All Yours
10. In The Name

Reviewed by on June 17, 2014

"Overkill doesn’t have to release a great album to cement a legacy of greatness, but the band did anyway."

If I were a man of few words, Overkill’s new release “White Devil Armory” would garner the single most descriptive word: consistent. Unfortunately, being brief would be inconsistent for your author. For the past 34 years, there has been no band on this planet that has fought through adversity, age, subgenre limits, and changing times and attitudes of metal fans by putting out such consistently great material than these New York legends. Sure, you can point out some albums that didn’t resonate as well as others, but was there ever an Overkill album that screamed “suck”? “White Devil Armory” takes the formula of “The Electic Age” and adds a dose of “Ironbound” to make one ripping album.

With as much energy as the band musters on a nightly basis every single tour, Overkill simply beats you down into thrash submission. When the speed doesn’t knock you out, the groove will gouge you. It took just a single listen to “Bitter Pill” to know that this song is one of the best the band has written in its storied career right alongside the pseudo “March of the Winkies” chant in the middle of “King of the Rat Bastards” (don’t ask…you will know it when you hear it).

Production-wise, the album is loud and decisively sharp…just like excellent thrash should be. It is markedly better, but right in in line with the string of Overkill releases dating back to “Necroshine” back in 20 ‘ought 0. The riff machine of Linsk and Tailer are as much the showcase of every Overkill album as Blitz’s ultra-unique shrieks. Speaking of Ellsworth, this man is just ageless – sounding more and more aggressive on every album when most vocalists over 50 would have been dead at the energy level he exudes. Check out “Freedom Reigns” and the potent lyrical delivery in “Another Day to Die.”

“Armorist” charges out of the key laden “XDM” intro with ridiculous fury, only to be followed up by the tommy gun riffs of “Down to the Bone.” It’s the latter where Overkill groove kicks everything into high gear and the riffs “soften” to a moderate gallop. Choruses exude supremacy, a staple of every album, and there is a plethora on “White Devil Armory.” For the best, check out the aforementioned “Bitter Pill” along with “Where There’s Smoke” (where speed slays) and the two fisted punch at the end of the release: “It’s All Yours” (no riff more memorable) and “In the Name.”

So the name of the game with “White Devil Armory” is astounding consistency. Overkill doesn’t have to release a great album to cement a legacy of greatness, but the band did anyway. Overkill doesn’t have to release an album of miraculous progression to stray from what it does best. “White Devil Armory” is precisely as it should be…spectacular thrash that makes you want to destroy that place you call home, and when you hear it live you’ll be sure to destroy your neighbor.

Highs: High energy thrash played at the highest destruction producing level.

Lows: Fans seeking something different will find nothing different.

Bottom line: Overkill leaves a trail of destruction emanating from your living area.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)