For 34 years, Overkill have been a consistent institution in thrash metal and ‘White Devil Armory’ is the bands 17th album. You could say their last couple of releases were a rebirth of the band, the PR material suggests so, but as a fan, those albums (‘The Electric Age’ & ‘Ironbound’) certainly upped the stakes of intensity with all band members stepping up to the mark and saying fuck you in their trademark style to all the detractors. Well, ‘White Devil Armory’ is a further development of the bands trademark energy. Whilst there is still the aggressive nature of the last two releases with tracks like ‘Armorist’ and ‘Down to the Bone’, there is a sense of musicianship coming back to the fold with tracks likes ‘Pig’ and ‘Bitter Pill’. Both of which remind me of some classic overkill releases like ‘Horroscope’, ‘Necroshine’ with one the tracks, ‘King of the Rat Bastards’, harking back to ‘The Killing Kind’ and even some elements of ‘Wide Fucking Open (W.F.O.)’.
But before you think that this is a self-tribute effort, it is not, I am merely pointing out that Overkill are coming at you with their entire arsenal, giving a more in depth experience in 2014 fuelled by their competent and brutal back catalogue. Will you find anything different? Well, not really, but the songs are more guitar riff orientated this time around rather than just offering pure speed and rebellion lyrics of recent efforts. My only critique is with the clinical repetition nature of the kick drum; however, the mix is perfect. The bass is audible, but less overbearing than on previous efforts and this guitar duo of Linsk and Tailer really have some cool energy and as mentioned earlier, I do really like some of the licks on ‘Bitter Pill’.
Overkill is to me the most consistent thrash band out there, even during the early millennium years when many others faltered; Overkill raised their middle finger and stuck to their guns. Moving forward to this current effort, this is a continued assault of near thrash perfection that should not lead you into complacency and shows a combination of Overkill’s heritage being ever so relevant to the modern powerhouse combination that they have become in recent times. Overkill never release poor albums and ‘White Devil Armory’ is another slab of thrash Armageddon made with the statement of their closing live favourite ‘Fuck You’… ‘White Devil Armory’ is an essential thrash album.
(9/10 Paul Maddison)