Overkill - Feel The Fire review


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Band: Overkill
Album: Feel The Fire
Release date: 1985

01. Raise The Dead
02. Rotten To The Core
03. There's No Tomorrow
04. Second Son
05. Hammerhead
06. Feel The Fire
07. Blood And Iron
08. Kill At Command
09. Overkill
10. Sonic Reducer [The Dead Boys cover]

Looking back on a historic and gem-studded career, Feel The Fire lit the beacon that the band would take forward to such heights during their long and winding career. Overkill hit the ground running and never looked back; though they may have slowed the pace (quite literally) at points in their career, they've never lost sight of what brought them here. Featuring some top class material, Feel The Fire is a must for anyone who likes their metal fast and loud.

With tracks like "Rotten To The Core" signposting which direction the band would travel moving forward, you can't say the band didn't have a strong sense of identity from the very beginning. Though rough around the edges, you can hear the sound that would come to epitomise Overkill and separate them from the sea of bands who would go on to give thrash its homogenous nature.

With the snarling and wailing of Blitz leading the charge, the band show their sonic wares with power and infectious style. Gustafson brings a wealth of riffs that many bands cannot match with two players in the fold, let alone one. D.D. Verni ensures the lack of a dual-guitar attack is not a hindrance by filling the gap with his four string and laying the foundation for his unique style of lead bass rather than just being a bass player.

Though his time with the band was unfortunately short, Rat Skates is the secret weapon on Feel The Fire; listen to "Blood And Iron", a track that is good, but Skates' pounding of the skins makes it essential listening by giving the song a drumming masterclass underneath its raging exterior. Skates is well remembered for a reason; even though his stint with the band wasn't long, he makes the most of his brief tenure and ensures each song is crammed full of excellent work.

For any album, let alone a debut album, to contain such classics like "Raise The Dead", "There's No Tomorrow", "Rotten To The Core" and "Hammerhead" is a mark of quality, let alone a harbinger of great things to come. Each track deserves a place among the greats of the genre and rightly slot into any Overkill setlist as a highlight.

Given it is their first tentative steps into metal, it is understandable that there are scuffs and bumps dotted around the album. To the band's merit, however, most of this revolves around the production and nothing to with their talents. The album is let down by the lack of power in the guitars; with Gustafson wailing away and coming up with some decent riffs, he is hindered by a production that robs him of much of the power. This is best exemplified on tracks like "Second Son", where you can hear how the guitar tone does lack the power it needs to really pump the track with energy; at the very least, it is sonically legible and you can hear what is being played. The bass drum does sound muffled and thumps rather than booms, but for the most part the drums sound fine otherwise. Perialas is one of the finest producers in the genre and while it isn't his worst work, it isn't his best either.

One of the best debut albums in the genre, Feel The Fire burns bright and will attract anyone like a moth to a flame with its undeniable wealth of quality.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 6

Written by omne metallum | 04.07.2020



Comments: 1   Visited by: 11 users
05.07.2020 - 10:00
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Good line up, new Gustafsson band, cant remember nsme are killer album. Good line up here, Robert is one of those vocalist what fuel it up and dont stop. Verni is good Bassist, better monster as lemmy was. His solo album kills, band has own formula, old Overkill just ratted it up in a gitter. Good band, soon huge Milestone will Come nr 20
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