Overkill - The Killing Kind
CMC Records
Thrash Metal
10 songs (49:52)
Release year: 1996
Overkill
Reviewed by Ben
Archive review

Sweet glowing Master Control Moses, the nineties were a rough time for metal. While the grunge explosion exterminated most of the shitty, fiftieth tier cock rock hair bands, it also had the unfortunate effect of taking out everything else that didn't suck. Not only did we witness the death of a bunch of bands, but those that survived generally put out a "nineties" album. In a long running metal band's discography, there is a scientific formula that when implemented, it indicates that the shittiest album of a band's career will have taken place in the nineties. And most likely between the years 1994 and 1999. However! I didn't pull this album out of my ass just to trash. When re-listening to The Killing Kind for this review I realized, "Wow, this is way better than I remembered." I then thought maybe that Attack Of The Clones might be worth a re-watch, but I came to my senses and laughed loudly, and alone, in this empty room.

I think that the time this album was released, and let's be honest, Sebastian Marino's weird ass reverse rat tail / mini devil lock staring at you from the cd insert, is what scares most people away from this era. Whether or not you enjoy this will really depend on how much you liked the last LP, W.F.O. The Killing Kind is a very slight evolution in the sound that was presented on that album. Hell, From The Underground And Below is way more groovy than this one, it just sounds more put together. Here, Overkill first started experimenting with "groove" riffs and odd nineties-isms.

By odd nineties-isms, I mean the very first track, Battle. This begins with a slow build up intro that begins to rumble and thunder as it cascades into the main section. Then, abruptly, it pulls back to give us a movie sample from Batman Returns, and then when the riff part begins again we have a helium induced backing vocal shouting, "Yeah!" to punctuate each line delivered by Blitz. For a bunch of conservative metalheads this might have been a bit too much to take in all at once. "Is that supposed to be a joke? Why does it do that? This sounds like a White Zombie song!" Excepting that oddity, this is a classic sounding song and is made for moshing and headbanging in unison live. God-Like is one of Overkill's most underrated songs in their discography. It's speedy, bouncy, angry, and Blitz gives a very versatile performance. He lets out a glorious scream right from the beginning ala Ram It Down as the band explodes behind him. Then, he has this low in his throat mixture of a grunt and bellow as he sings the title. During the bridge he goes into pure insanity mode with his crazy sneering snarl. Falling in line with the title, The Killing Kind, this sounds like someone about to go on a spree. There's also a sexy guitar harmony solo that no one who likes the band should have any reason to complain about.

Certifiable is the final track in the opening triple threat / triple shot that opens this album. Again! This is FAST. I don't hear much grooveness in the riffs, but the way the lyrics are delivered in a rhythmic rolling pattern might be what makes people think this is a groove album. But this is no drop D butt chugging here. Certifiable only gives the listener respite from the assault when Blitz starts yelling that he's coming for you and he's gonna kill you and you motherfucker, you better let him in! Just an overwhelming song that kicks ass.

So, after all that praise, (and there's more coming) we do get to some low points. The half ballad, Burn You Down / To Ashes, has some experimenting that went a little awry. While Overkill is very capable of writing slower songs, this particular one has an overlong intro section that wears out its welcome and has a rather odd warbling performance by Blitz. He seems to be going more for effect here and creating mood, but hey, not everything can be a winner. Thankfully, the track picks up in the last half, but this ain't Skullkrusher. There's some odd spoken word section in Let Me Shut That For You where Blitz is speaking, "sit the fuck down, and shut the fuck up." Hey! Another nineties-ism! The Mourning After / Private Bleeding is a full ballad and well, I don't care. The Cleansing is a bit of a two headed beast. It actually starts off sounding like a very classic metal sounding number with harmony guitars and a power chord buildup. Even the main riff has a bit o bounce to it without sounding like "groove" metal. Once again, I think that Blitz's rhythmic delivery is what causes folks to associate this with nineties sensibilities. I like this one quite a bit actually, but the outro is just weird. After a rather violent sounding song, the outro is a chorus of Blitz's singing, "Jesus cleans me can't you hear Him / Jesus cleanse me now." Hmmm. Well. Ok.

Reviewing The Killing Kind was actually kind of a treat for myself. While I've always had a fondness for this album, especially the first three songs, it opened up a bit more to me on this re-listen. Perhaps I had put this into the compartment of "bad nineties metal" too soon when I was younger. Maybe I just let the poop cloud of nineties metal rain too much on my parade and caused it to fudge old memories up. But after reacquainting myself with this album, I will make my stand on this hill! The Killing Kind is not shitty groove metal from the nineties! It is sweet ass METAL that defied the nineties!

Killing Songs :
Battle, God-Like, Certifiable, Bold Faced Pagan Stomp, most of The Cleansing
Ben quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Overkill that we have reviewed:
Overkill - Wrecking Your Neck reviewed by Ben and quoted no quote
Overkill - From The Underground And Below reviewed by Ben and quoted 77 / 100
Overkill - W.F.O. reviewed by Ben and quoted 85 / 100
Overkill - The Wings of War reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Overkill - White Devil Armory reviewed by Thomas and quoted 85 / 100
To see all 18 reviews click here
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