Overblood: Excision

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Overblood: Excision
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Overblood: Excision
Groove Metal, Post-Thrash Metal
Self-release
2011
Release length: 43:39
Myspace
Website
Overblood is an unsigned Italian Groove/Post-Thrash Metal group based out of Italy. Formed back in 1996, the band has issued a total of three demos, though you won’t find much on their 1999 demo Travel Soul, all leading up to this independent release. Coming in at just over forty three minutes, and standing tall at eleven songs including an introduction, Excision feels like a standard release as far as the basics go. A physical copy was sent in for review, and it was a well done factory pressed album with dark artwork. But, is the material itself as professional as the outward appearance?

One of the big draws for this release is the audio quality. Excision sounds like something the bigger names in Metal would want to issue, and probably wouldn’t given the trends of today. The guitars sound great, having a nice modern clarity behind them, but still rough enough in distortion to really hammer away at the listener when necessary, though sometimes pulling away from it during any haunting moments like in “Masked Disease.” The bass is loudly present here, and aside a few moments throughout the album, it doesn’t offer much additional presentation, but does a good job of backing up the chords, maintaining the rhythm well, and pushing the generally deeper tone of the music without going too far. The vocals are strong and commanding, pulling in more of a Hardcore attitude with them, but never going into shouting, largely a rougher exterior that sometimes goes into pretty deep territories. The drums are crisp thanks to life like cymbals that sound almost right in front of you, thicker snares that have a little bit of a kick back, meshing well with the kicks. The only issue here is that sometimes the snares can be slightly off when the music really picks up speed, and the sound can put you off a little bit. Put simply, this album sounds heavy, as is everything else about it.

Excision starts off with an “Intro” track that is a little over a minute. At first, the gun fire and ominous keyboards that sound like something straight out of an eighties Science Fiction or Action film sounds like a typical way to kick things off, but the additional shouting and altered vocals work well to add tension prior to a loud explosion sending “Bomb Falls – Hell Calls” into high gear right from the start. Here, the snares can be a bit off, but when it cools down a bit into catchy, even emotional Groove filled music, you can’t help but let it slide and get wrapped up in what’s coming at you. After this first spin, the “Intro” does come of better suited, and not to be skipped over.

From here, the pace often mimicks the mid-tempo approach laid out in this offering, but isn’t always as haunting, though those moments really stand out the most for this album. “Against the Holy Alliance” has some pretty strong haunting and depressive emotional vibes to it as well, though largely towards the end, unlike “Masked Disease” which is heavily composed of it through that mid-tempo pace once more, though still backed with a stern, aggressive performance from the band. But, this isn’t the only emotion you’ll come across, as “World Cannibal Chaos” incorporates a heroic, victorious kind of vibe to it. This is mostly during the simpler, yet technical in timing main verses and guitar solo than the largely Thrash Metal chorus and bridges that seem to include a hint of melody into the mix, but leave too much of the atmosphere behind.

But, that doesn’t mean every song is presented this way. “Don’t Spread Your Bullshit” is just a straight forward assault that hammers away, but never really picks up the pace from the rest of the material. Despite that, you can sense a more abrasive sound, which will have you banging your head the hardest amongst all the offerings that Excision offers the listener. Next to that, there’s “Mr. Crime,” which offers up a similar experience, but seems to attempt to bring in some tribal influences in the drumming, which works out well here actually.

Overblood may not be one of the most unique groups out there, but they really have created an album that stands out among the many bands of this style, “Post-” or not. Excision offers up plenty of atmosphere when it’s not just straight out kicking your ass with an abrasive Metal output. The energy is captured well throughout the release too, and the production quality is just spot on for this kind of rugged, aggressive, attitude-driven recording. Aside an issue with the snares here and there, you really can’t go wrong with this release. If you haven’t heard of Overblood yet, then do yourself a favor and check them out now.

01. Intro – 1:12
02. Bomb Falls – Hell Calls – 4:51
03. Against the Holy Alliance – 5:11
04. Infected Society – 4:19
05. World Cannibal Chaos – 3:36
06. Too Late to Come Back – 3:15
07. Don’t Spread Your Bullshit – 5:32
08. Masked Disease – 4:23
09. Childhood’s Grave – 4:01
10. D.N.A. – 3:59
11. Mr. Crime – 3:20
Overall Score: 9/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by Overblood.