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Overlorde - Return Of The Snow Giant (CD)

Overlorde
Return Of The Snow Giant
by Grigoris Chronis at 01 December 2004, 9:37 PM

There are lots of bands that emerged in the 80s, releasing just one (debut, back then) full length album or some obscure mini-LP or (even better) a plain 7 single, attaching their name to the long catalogue of the hidden treasure acts that had all the prospects to make a more steady career. All these releases, in addition, comprised the endless hunting for rare Metal collectors paying incredible amounts of money for the original issues (count me in…). The comeback of any band of that era in the year 2004 can possibly be welcomed in three ways, I guess: the common who are they? wonder of the juvenile Metal fans, the progressive what do these old farts want from us today? way of thinking for the once-addicted-now-mature updated metalheads and the retro well, well, well, look who's back in town again… non-disremembering Heavy Metal Lunatics. What about Overlorde? Huh, I'll take the 3rd option please…
New Jersey's Overlorde took shape in 1985 by John Kong Bunucci and Mark M.E. Edwards. Under the commands of N.W.O.B.H.M. heroes Iron Maiden, Saxon and Def Leppard plus the howls of German legends Accept and the Scorpions, Overlorde gave numerous shows in the NJ area, attracting a fair amount of loyal friends with their classic sound (featuring a slight early Queensryche paint). Through their own Strike Zone Records the band released its debut 5-song same-titled mini LP in 1987 receiving warm reviews from the Metal Press all around the globe. Alas, the overgrowing problems of lineup changes plus the misfortune in signing a good record deal pushed the band to obscurity - and their only vinyl release to intangible amounts of money in the collectors' want-lists. But…
…Greece's Sonic Age Records - as the defender of 80s donsie Metal - took the resurrected quartet (now featuring ex-Seven Witches/Exhibition Bobby Lucas on vocals) in its roster. It's a fact, though, that the band never really quit, as every now and then a demo recording or some sample for a compilation album came up. Well, in terms of music Overlorde (for the majority of fans who aren't familiar with the band's style) deliver genuine 80s-inspired Heavy Metal music, looking both sides of the Atlantic. Many ideas (especially the rhythm guitar works) rely on the deeds of classic monsters like Iron Maiden or Saxon but the overall skill plus the album's production are keen on the US Metal basic elements, although it's not easy for me to come out with similarities to other bands (maybe a more organized Brocas Helm?). It's true that Overlorde, between their straightforward chords and the one-up-the-other-mid tempo rhythm section, manage to create a somehow personal style (maybe someone familiar with their 1987 mini LP can judge so, also). To clear out any misunderstanding, I don't think that Return Of The Snow Giant could easily be categorized under the Epic Metal label. It's more in the Classic US Metal vein I should declare. But, summarizing, what a great result this insistent quartet made!
Shit… Can't come up with a good similarity… But, that's good for the good old metallers from New Jersey. So, proceed if you think that a US Heavy Metal band with 20 years of experience and only one recording so far can convince you. Note: for these already fond of Overlorde through their legendary same titled mini, no second thought needed. Grab it like hell!!!
Note 1: Bobby Lucas' work is - once again - magnificent!
Note 2: The band will make their first ever European live appearence at the Keep It True Festival in Germany on April 2005.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
And The Battle Begins…
Snow Giant
Hell Hath No Fury
Starcastle
When He Comes
Metallic Madness
Blackness
Ogre Wizard
Mark Of The Wolf
My Disease
Trapped By Magic
Colossus (Island Of The Cyclops)
Overlorde
Lineup:
Bobby 'Leather Lungs' Lucas - Vocals
Mark 'M.E.' Edwards - Guitars
John 'Kong' Bunucci - Bass
Dave Wrenn - Drums
Record Label: Sonic Age Records
     


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