Immortalis (Bodog Music)
By Martin Popoff
Immortalis features a new drummer (Ron Lipnicki – makes no difference) as well as a reunion with Jonny and Marsha Zazula (Megaforce) at the business end of things (also doesn’t change the album). Elsewhere, Randy from Lamb of God duets with Blitz on “Skull and Bones,” where Randy does Randy, Blitz does Blitz (more growl less yelp), but Blitz also does some cool singing as per side-project The Cursed. Production and writing is classic Overkill, thrash with an East Coast hardcore compactness, but cool, circuitous riffs weave their way through “Hellish Pride” and “Head On,” while “Walk Through Fire” is an awesome drinking man’s metal tune along the lines of Kiss meets Dangerous Toys. Stick with this one through the war-ish thick of it, cos IMO haranguing opener “Devils In The Mist” is the weakest track here, with the whole doom crew back half creating a near concept album of grim-faced determination, a sort of shoot first/bathe in fiery torment later environment that has me thinking about Tank’s This Means War or Maiden’s A Matter of Life and Death for some reason. Thrash diehards might find this a little too chuggy, but that’s fine by me, even if “Walk Through Fire” has me salivating for more (out of character) anthemic fare against the old school NYC urban hardcore sullenness of Overkill’s usual mid-paced decisions.