Overkill - Killbox 13
Spitfire Records
Thrash/Groove Metal
10 songs (50:22)
Release year: 2003
Overkill, Spitfire Records
Reviewed by Thomas
Archive review

I must admit, that even though I consider myself a huge Overkill-fan, their 90's to early 00's outputs are rarely awarded a lot of time in my spinner, on my iPod or wherever the hell I would want it. Not because it's particularly bad, but because, well, compared to their classic period in the 80's and their latest modern classic Ironbound, is it really worth it? Well yes, there's a lot of great stuff to be dug out from their relatively silent 90's. A whole lot of garbage grunge bands had taken over the planet, and metal-bands all over tried to evolve their sound yet failed miserably time and time again as they were overshadowed and seemingly outnumbered by crap. However, Overkill managed to churn out a couple of beasts in Horrorscope and Necroshine, and while opinions are mixed, Killbox 13 is considered by some, including me, a damn fine album, while others find it downright repulsive. Yes it's groovy, yes it's modern, yes it's slower than Feel the Fire and Taking Over, but this is still Overkill, and while they're having some lapses here and there, they never quit thrashing, wrecking everything.

As I said, this is groovier and slower than most of their other stuff. The riffs are always heavy and crushing, sluggish when slow, chugging while faster, sometimes forgettable yet more often than not they're memorable and thundering. D.D's bass is extremely present, and makes the music all the more bass-heavy and devastating. Songs like the the thumping kick-off Devil by the Tail, follow-up modern thrasher Damned and highlight Unholy are tunes with infinite value, consisting of memorable riffs and good lead-work. The slow crunching tracks here are harder to get into and enjoy as they pull more on the strings of something like groovy doom than anything else, which isn't exactly Overkill. The riffs are less memorable and sometimes borderline dull. However, there are passages, like the last two minutes of Struck Down that'll strike you with awe, the signs of a coming storm of riffs in the opening seconds of I Rise which is a song pulled straight out of the era of titans, as well as the solo of the mentioned favourite Unholy

There's a bunch of uncharacteristic elements surrounding Killbox 13, one man however that forever and always will proclaim the gospel of Overkill is Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth. He sounds as above-average as ever, and his piercing voice will once again find its way through your skull. Although this guy lives and breaths Overkill he's adapted some of Dave Mustaine's spoken word passages that became evident on mid-era Megadeth records. In spite of some minor alterations, this guy sounds just as awesome as before, whispering, screaming, singing and shouting terror into the hearts of the unsuspecting with a great performance.

All in all, while this is an album with its ups and downs and probably one non-thrashers won't care for. It still has moments where it will shred your face off and feed it to the dogs. Yes there are a couple of songs that'll evade your attention, especially due to some dull guitar-work, but otherwise this is a potent album from a powerful band, and if you like them, you should get it.

Face it, kill it, beat it to the ground, turn it, burn it, gone without a sound, struck down!

Killing Songs :
Damned, Struck Down. Unholy, I Rise
Thomas quoted 78 / 100
Other albums by Overkill that we have reviewed:
Overkill - White Devil Armory reviewed by Thomas and quoted 85 / 100
Overkill - Horrorscope reviewed by Bar and quoted 90 / 100
Overkill - The Electric Age reviewed by Thomas and quoted 96 / 100
Overkill - Fuck You reviewed by Thomas and quoted no quote
Overkill - Ironbound reviewed by Thomas and quoted 96 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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