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Overt Enemy – Inception

Overt Enemy
by Santiago Puyol at 12 March 2019, 9:47 AM

Well…that was intense, fun and provoking!

OVERT ENEMY are a Texan Thrash Metal band slash SLAYER tribute band who truly honor their namesake and inspiration by throwing some powerful, politically driven songs on their debut EP “Inception”. The 5 track EP features three original songs - two of them with both explicit and radio edited versions - making for a 18-minute ride that’s extremely enjoyable.

Although the Thrash tag feels right and there’s plenty stuff reminiscent of the 80’s germinal stage of the subgenre, this debut EP actually manages to fuse some elements from other Metal subgenres and even Hard Rock and Punk.

“Mercenary” throw us directly into the mayhem of the US/Mexico border and immigration issues, with the band taking a stand as explicitly as possible. The drums pound like crazy, there’s a screeching guitar solo amid the chaos, and everything is evoking the violence and complexity of the situation that the vocals paint in dramatic and angry fashion. The way the toms build during the first minute makes the explosion of the rhythmic section feel more intense. A few drum patterns even managed to sound MOTÖRHEAD-ish to me. Really fun opening track. It is also featured in 2016-film “The Blood Tapes”.

The screeching guitar tones make a comeback in a fast-paced solo on the second half of “Political Cancer”, followed by high-speed thrashy drumming by Jaime Ayala. His work is one of the greatest aspects of the EP, as it shows enough diversity while grounding most of the tracks. Despite sticking to the three-minute song format, there’s plenty of variety in the songwriting; with songs moving from one riff, rhythm pattern or vibe to another, while still feeling coherent.

Still, the most interesting track is actually the instrumental the EP takes its name from. “Inception” is a psychedelic and acoustic-led track that has the vibe of an intro to a track by METALLICA (think “Battery” or “To Live is To Die”) or even a BLACK SABBATH instrumental. The softly distorted guitar soloing makes up most of the song, while heavy breathing in the background gives it a sinister vibe. There is a jammy aspect to it while some nice percussive sounds seem to emulate a pounding heart. Overall, it slows down the pace and provides a bit of a respite - to our eardrums at least, because it still manages to feel quite ominous.

The production is more than satisfying, but I still want to hear the bass a little more. It comes with the territory, but when your nickname is Slayerella you deserve being more prominent in the mix for sure. Too badass not to be!

A fun, straight-to-the-point EP that shows a lot of promise for OVERT ENEMY’s future. Can’t wait to hear what comes next.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Mercenary \[Explicit]
2. PoliticalCancer \[Explicit]
3. Inception
4. Mercenary \[Radio Edit]
5. Political Cancer \[Radio Edit]
Leo Ortiz – Guitar/Lead Vocals
Jaime Ayala – Drums
Laura “Slayerella” Ortiz– Bass/Vocals
Rob Hahn – Guitar/Vocals
Record Label: Confused Records


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