If we could only be what you wanted us to be"
One Word Review: Intense
Overkill's Horrorscope was one of my first introductions to thrash metal, back in 1991. The others were Exodus' Impact is Imminent, Slayer's Decade of Aggression and Forbidden's Twisted into Form. It was a pretty good year. Horrorscope has haunted my memory since. From the captivating opening notes to the final brilliantly melodic Soulitude, I was hooked. The music captured a certain atmosphere and I quickly got used to Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth's unique and powerful voice.
Coma is a brilliant opener. Its atmospheric intro sets the mood and when the heavy guitar riff tears through the air, it is a great feeling. The song is often fast and furious but takes time to breathe, giving the ultra heavy moments more impact. Nearing the end the song goes into overdrive with Mr. Ellsworth delivering a masterful scream, as he drags out the ending of the last chorus. It's übercool touches like these that make the album shine.
The album is filled with great songs, all built upon heavy riffs; an open invitation to headbang along. The band has an Infectious enthusiasm that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Ellsworth's vocals have a special charm and the bass-, drum- and guitar work is top notch. Well played with a strong groove that makes it hard to sit still while listening. The songs have a great way of evolving, rising in intensity and peaking with some very powerful moments. A hint: The louder this album is played the better.
It's also clear that many of these songs will benefit even further from a live situation.
Blood Money opens with a tension-building crescendo of drums, bass and guitar. The song speeds off at high velocity and evolves in an interesting way through its four minutes. The song peaks through the excellent "Liar"-chorus passages.
Thankx For Nothin' shows no remorse and continues in an uncompromising way. The vocal interplay in the chorus works well. Again the song builds throughout and peaks in the final chorus with a wailing guitar solo underlining this.
Bare Bones throws a haunting piano intro to the mix. It adds to the heaviness and gives the song a bit of diversity before it speeds off down thrash lane. The guitar solo is quite excellent and adds a strong sense of urgency to the song.
Horrorscope, the title track is a slow, ultra heavy piece of ominous music. It's a fantastic song that harbors a captivating atmosphere. The riffs are mean and drawn out, the drumming is power packed and the vocals are intense. Along with Coma it was one of the songs that drew me into the album initially.
New Machine shifts one gear higher. There's a great groove in the verse section and the intensity increases during the bridge. Ellsworth sings excellent and adds many detail, my favorite being the way he emphasizes "Love" in the first bridge section. Another superb song.
Fronted by a groovy instrumental cover version of Edgar Winter's Frankenstein, Live Young, Die Free quickly gets back into the fray. It's the only song on the album that is somewhat anonymous.
Nice Day.. For a Funeral stands out. The entrance to the first verse is excellent and throughout the song the music holds a strong atmosphere. It is given time to breathe through a memorable chorus and a great instrumental middle section.
The song fades into Soulitude, which continues with an atmospheric guitar solo. As the first verse gets underway there's a growing intensity, which rises until the explosive chorus arrives. This section is a highlight of the entire album. Ultra heavy and infectiously melodic at the same time. Ellsworth spits out the words with enraged venom. Pure brilliance ends the album, and as dead silence ensues, I can't help but press the back button and hear this song one more time.
Horrorscope is an intense experience, even 24 years after its release. If you haven't discovered this thrash classic yet, it is time to hunt it down, because it is always a nice day... for Overkill.
Written By Steen
Online: Thursday, May 28, 2015