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Overdrive - Let The Metal Do The Talking (CD)

Let The Metal Do The Talking
by Grigoris Chronis at 28 March 2008, 9:48 AM

…and you start yelling at various directions: Who do they think they are, choosing this album title?…Well, OVERDRIVE is one of the oldest Swedish Metal bands around and released - for your info - their last studio album nearly a quarter of a century ago, and before crying out what the hell all these relics want from my life? I should warn you all these relics know how to perform 'real' Heavy Metal music, since you seem to be 'trapped' to what various labels/managers/media display as 'Metal'. So, do not act fast and reject but just take the chance to hear some vivid in-your-face metallic rage.
These Swedish warriors - way before the 'New Wave Of Swedish Death Metal' term was born - did flirt with mid-tempo-to-speedy rhythms and lots of NWOBHM-influenced soloing/dual leads. Not to forget, Sweden always had a great portion of top-class Metal bands, even if your local 'dictator' Metal Press used to deal with only specific fields. So, one band of these 80s Sweds, OVERDRIVE, was formed in 1980 and started off as a cover band for RIOT, DEF LEPPARD etc takes. The Reflexions EP (1981) was pressed in 500 self-financed copies and if anyone wants to get rid of it, just call my accountant and we'll fix a price! Two 'normal' albums - 1983's Metal attack and 1984's Swords And Axes (both on Planet Records) - was OVERDRIVE's showcase in the 80s. A reunion took place in 1997, resulting to some new tracks on the Mission Of Destruction - Live CD (2001) plus two 7 (mostly 'archive') singles (2001 and 2006).
OVERDRIVE has a new singer, Per Karlsson. He joined all four (remaining) original members, the most familiar name off them maybe being Janne Stark (LOCOMOTIVE BREATH, PLANET ALLIANCE). With this lineup, Let The Metal Do The Talking starts off with a Speed Metal thunder named Army Of Darkness, while also flirting with riff-full mid-tempo 80s Euro Heavy classics like Let The Metal Do The Talking and Trapped Under Ice. The Den of Iniquity instrumental is a bang-along Speed Metal hymn while - in a set of equally bombastic tunes - the epic tempo of Deceived plus the Rock integrity of Lodestar and the 'dramatic' slow-tempo doom of Reincarnation (featuring the one and only Chris Catena in guest vocals) will drive old-school metalheads nuts and (surely) won't disappoint the juvenile Metal followers, presenting an honest 'real' 80s Metal blend of veracity and ruthless Swedish 'classic' Metal blast. (note: I have the impression that half of the songs date back to the '80s' days).
Karlsson is the most fitting choice to handle the vocal lines. Ample, in-your-face, with maturity in high-pitched singing and a slight tendency to go 'epic' in slower parts. The rhythm section is as wanted; pounding and alive-n-kicking. But, as regards the guitars work, objections are overruled. There's tons of Metal spirit in the rhythm parts and the solos are detonating, furious, 'British'-hailing and (without omitting melody) rather sharp.
For the rusty Metal maniacs who have never had the chance to come along OVERDRIVE's music, just imagine a mix of RIOT, the 'riffing-meets-harmonia' side of NWOBHM (JUDAS PRIEST, CHATEAUX, GRIM REAPER, WILDFIRE, MORE) plus the early instrumentation of SILVER MOUNTAIN, PRETTY MAIDS, STORMWITCH or BRAINFEVER and the mid-tempo mastery of ACCEPT. As for you, the 21st Century Metal lad, I think bands like HAMMERFALL, STEEL ATTACK, LION'S SHARE and (even) ANNIHILATOR would perform as such if they wanted to sound as 20-25 years ago!
Honestly, Let The Metal Do The Talking is a big 'positive' surprise. It really is!

4 Star Rating

Army Of Darkness
Let The Metal Do The Talking
Fight To The Finish
Bring Me To Submission
Trapped Under Ice
Den of Iniquity
Gravy Train
Chasing Highways
Sinister Warfare
Per PerilOz Karlsson - Vocals
Janne Stark - Guitar
Kjell Jacobsson - Guitar
Kenth Eriksson - Bass
Kenta Svensson - Drums
Record Label: Lion Music


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