Overkill - White Devil Armory

Overkill White Devil Armory cover
White Devil Armory
Nuclear Blast
Rejoice motherfuckers ‘cause Chaly’s back and armored to the teeth, to cause some serious damage to your ears! Overkill return with their (wtf?) 17th album, I think?! I lost count and there’s the EP’s the cover album, live albums so shod it, trying to enumerate “White Devil Armory”. What really matters is that ever since the band signed to Nuclear Blast they seem to be on some sort of a creative streak, unleashing one “lightning bolt” after the other. It’s not only, a somewhat edgier production, it’s also a renewed sense of vigor and more “balls”... I dunno if it was just a matter of timing or pure coincidence, but ever since “Ironbound” the band seems to be stronger than ever and almost rivaling its 80s to mid-90s output at times and with the added bonus of the fuller more “savage” sounding production making them sound “bigger” and “meaner” for a band from New Jersey! Haha!
“White Devil Armory” begins with “XDM a short an mysterious intro that leads us straight to the lead single the fast and furious “Armorist” that seemed to slightly split people into a rivaling factions, more than before, those who liked it and those that found it less than gratifying…. C’mon… for f#$k’s sake this is classic Overkill kids… and it feels like a damn landmine going off inside your head… pardon the splatter-y image this might invoke, but... it’s that kick ass!!!
“Down to the Bone” is just a tad more reserved than “Armorist” and maybe a touch more staccato and has a very weird melodic lead on top of some of Bobby’s vocals that made me think WTF are “they” doing... it’s great fun to see a band like Overkill, taking slight chances and not delivering cookie cutter songs, but slightly going sideways without straying too far from the main road, that is Thrash basically... Bobby’s typical hysterical trademark laughter finishes this one!
“PIG” is a very rhythmical and very enjoyable number and obviously… the lyrics are very sarcastic in this one… (hahaha being from the so called PIIGS, well we got a lot of PIG bankers and politicians, maybe we could export some of them to hell with a one way ticket :P)… Welcome to the Rodeo!!!
“Bitter Pill” is meant to be the second single from the album and is heavier number, with the speed decaying to mid-tempo and the groove setting in and becoming more apparent... it works great and is quite cool after a barrage of faster numbers. It does get a little louder and a tad faster for the middle/solo past but it just goes back to the original ideas and riffs in a nice way however. Great song, hands down!
“Where There’s Smoke”… (someone’s hair is on fire?) has a riff that could make your hair, if you have any left just burst into flames, self-combust! It’s a speed metal onslaught… with some impressive double bass drum work and then some… even the fact that it lacks a totally convincing chorus, sort of becomes a secondary concern due to the fact that it’s so cool, being so slamming. After the second minute, it slows down, going into a muscular heavy riff based middle that rocks and it picks up some speed again after the solo to end up rather abruptly but leaving you rocked the hell out! I like it!
“Freedom Rings” is a little bizarre, with a rather loooong intro, but once it actually begins it has a beautiful and mean riff and Ellsworth, really gives a quite passionate performance on this one… great simple dynamics, that work wonders.
“Another Day to Die” is a mid-tempo song with some sound effects, and is not entirely bad, but I suppose it just maybe seems a little less impressive compared to the plethora of good songs that it finds itself amongst. (Some off time spoken phrases come out of the blue and creep the hell out of you... too cool idea)
“King of the Rat Bastards” will surely make old schoolers crack a grin and possibly nod with approval... out of them gutters…
In the same “dirtier” more in tune with their 80s sound ethos, that is however not that far removed or different from the overall climate of the album – it’s the same band for fuck’s sake... “It’s All Yours” is a bit more rock/metal inspired, “Scarfaced” type of evil-fantasy, tune… hahaha. Coolio!
“In the Name” closes the flow of the normal album and epitomizes how cool Overkill can be, in an over-the-top killer song of epic proportions. It has a very march like tempo and almost a militaristic sort of aspect… but in my mind at least… because of the way the lyric is written... it’s about fighting about what you believe in, and don’t giving a damn. But as long as you believe in it… and you’re not brainwashed into believing it, that’s fine… people all over the world, seem to fight for common goals, but they seem to end up fighting against each other in the end...
Which brings us to the bonus songs…
“The Fight Song”: This one begins a bit like an Irish drinking song and continues so, with splashes, of thrashier moments here and there … not entirely bad. Well as long as Bobby doesn’t turn all Ted Nugent, he’s alright! Heck, even Ted’s kind of OK, musically speaking…
Last but not least there’s “Miss Misery” is a cover of Nazareth's classic number, a nice enough number that’s somewhat reminiscent of both Overkill and I’d say Accept (and as we found out Tornillo also guests) and sort of moans over the troubles a bad woman can cause. And I ask you, who hasn’t been there, my friends!?
Overall, Overkill have done it once more, quite nicely! Cool, really cool! Over-Cool!