Game Over - Crimes Against Reality
Scarlet Records
Thrash Metal
10 songs (41' 2")
Release year: 2016
Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Andy

Though Italian thrashers Game Over sport both a band name and a logo reminiscent of Nuclear Assault, their sound has a modern tinge on their third in a steadily-produced line of LPs: Crimes Against Reality. Woven in with the traditional thrash riffing and shouted lyrics is a maturity that reminds one of some of the later years of thrash after their heyday -- but done substantially more gracefully.

Despite the speed of the guitar work, the effect produced is that of a clearer, more radio-friendly production. Reno Chiccoli's vocals have a bit of mid-career James Hetfield's in them, but keep enough of a unique sound that they do not come off as a mere pastiche. Songs like 33 Park Street don't really push the envelope, but they're nicely produced and have the youthful energy of a cover band. One of my favorites is the slower With All That Is Left, the modern version of the squeaky-soloed "thrash ballad" that always put in an appearance mid-album on any 80s equivalent; while slightly incoherent, Chiccoli has an authentic toughness in his voice that fits nicely with the guitars' palm-muted drop into distortion from the clean sections and their final return to speed. Also, one thing the band excels at here, much more than at the melodies, is on intro riffs and instrumental work. Whenever they try to push the songs along, especially on chorus chord changes, the song has a habit of jumping into an odd key, jarring the listener, but the instrumental riffs and solos are the product of loving care.

This technical ability comes at the expense of the rawness that some other modern thrashers enjoy. Mid-tempo numbers like Just a Little Victory don't have anywhere the requisite amount of furious speed that Gama Bomb would be able to summon up even in the service of humor, and the title track's best parts are when the band leaves the bulk of the song behind and go to their strong point: More instrumentals. But when Chiccoli's given a decent song to sing, like Fix Your Brain, he nails it, combining a Dave Mustaine-like anger in his delivery with some of the best riffs and melody on the album.

Game Over knocks out an album here that will never be considered a work of genius, but is quite listenable. The band's musicianship ought to be able to overcome some of the less inspired compositions for thrash fans.

Killing Songs :
With All That Is Left, Fix Your Brain
Andy quoted 74 / 100
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