on 12 June 2009
In 1990 Overkill released their 5th album Horrorscope, their greatest album to date although I am eagerly awaiting Ironbound. The songs here are more to the point than on Years of decay (their 2nd best album) and the production is a lot better. The guitars have more crunch to them and for the first time Overkill have 2 guitarists, after solo guitar player Bobby Gustafson left the band, they recruited Gant and Cannavino. D.D Verni is one of metals best bassists and here his performance is brilliant. Sid Falck on drums is brilliant and he smashes the hell out of his pedals, Lars Ulrich could learn a lot by listening to this album. Finally Blitz's vocals are superb as always, I love the rasp in his voice and he screams better than anyone else in metal, Blitz is the best vocalist in metal..... (oh crap I forgot about Bruce Dickinson), ok 2nd best. Every song on the album is good and there are no fillers, something which would plague Overkill for the next 20 years. The opening track coma is one of the best opening tracks ever and kicks slayer in the nuts for speed. the title track is a slow song but unlike Skullrusher from Years of decay is very interesting. The thrash ballad Solitude is a personal favourite and is almost as good as Fade to black and One. The Cover of Edgar Winters track Frankenstein is surprisingly good and fits into the album well. New Machine is a track I feel could have been huge, there is no solo which is stupid and there is easily room for a really cool breakdown like in Metallica's Creeping Death, still good song if unfinished. Blood Money and Infectious are brilliant and the intro to Bare Bones is really cool.
Overall the album is very strong, it is a bit unbalanced in that the fastest songs are at the beginning and the slower ones appear later maybe mixing and matching would keep it more interesting but I don't care.
- End Scream in Coma
- Intro to Bare Bones
- When Solitude picks up in speed
- Blood Money
(In all honesty they are all good though)
A must have for any fan of thrash or metal in general, Overkill show how it should be done.
on 13 September 2007
"Horrorscope" is a strong follow-up to the great "The Years Of Decay", the riffs are powerful, the drums are good, the songs are actual songs and not just riff after riff with some shouting in between like on "Under The Influence". sure like always in Overkill you can hear a riff or rhythm here or there that reminds you of Slayer, Metallica or Anthrax, therefore i give it only 4 stars, but those moments are really rare on "Horrorscope" compared to other releases by them. there is no weak song on the cd, you can listen to it from beginning to end, it's really enjoyable. "Horrorscope" can compete with anything the bigger bands in Thrash have put out during their careers, unfortunately "Horrorscope" came too late, if it was released in the mid-eighties Overkill would have been as big as Slayer or Anthrax.
i recommend "Horrorscope" to everyone interested in Thrash or Metal in general, it's definitely one of Overkill's best.
on 8 June 2016
Horrorscope by Overkill is generally considered their finest album. This thrash metal album is a fine piece of work, a particularly heavy affair that should definitely be in a thrash metal fans collection.
You can not go wrong with the straight up approach that you will find in songs like the album title track, Coma, Blood Money and Live Young, Die Free, Even the cover song Frankenstein is particularly good. It doesn't match the original but not many would. There is some great snarling vocals from the bands front man and plenty of great guitar moments.
The only real let down for this album is the awfully weak production. Much like the album I Hear Black, this CD is awfully quiet and has no real power behind it. You really need to crank the music to get any kind of oomph from it and it is quite frustrating. I dread to think how miserable it must sound for the people using digital mp3 players etc.
With the sound issues aside, I really enjoyed this album and I would have no hesitations recommending Horrorscope to anyone who enjoys speed metal.
on 24 February 2012
Released way back in 1991 this was the first album to feature guitarists Rob Cannavino and Merritt Gant and the last to feature drummer Sid Falck. Following on from their breakthrough Years of Decay, this was the New Jersey thrashers fifth studio album. The loss of guitarist and songwriter Bobby Gustafson had threatened the future of the band but the addition of the new guitarists gives this album a new edge. Heavy opener 'Coma' show off the talents of impressive drummer Falck and the duelling guitars of Cannnavino and Gant. Second track 'Infectious' and third track 'Blood Money' follow in similar fashion. What we have here is classic trash, great musicianship allied to Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth's rasping vocals. A joy from beginning to end and a remarkable thrashing tour-de-force considering the line up changes that preceeded the album. This album should occupy pride of place in every thrashers CD collection.
on 25 March 2015
This is the first album without Bobby Gustafson on guitars, Merritt Gant and Rob Cannavino are his replacements and they are really excellent. There are 11 tracks of pure Thrash Metal genius that are of such high quality that it begs belief. The track listing is as follows. 1).Coma. 2). Infectious. 3). Blood Money. 4). Thanx for Nuthin'. 5). Bare Bones. 6). Horrorscope. 7). New Machine. 8).Frankenstein. 9). Live Young Die Free. 10). Nice Day for a Funeral. 11). Solitude. Overkill have used a piano on the intro of "Bare Bones" which is truly brilliant and gives the song pleny of atmosphere. This album is a tour de force and is a worthy successor to "The Years of Decay", the band sound re-energized and truly focused. I whole heartedly recommend this album to anyone who loves Thrash Metal or Overkill.
on 13 August 2002
I got into these guys after seeing the videos of "Thanx for Nothing" and "Horrorscope" on MuchMusic in Canada. But it was really "Thanx for Nothing" that blew me away. For some reason, they don't seem to play this track much during live shows (I've only seen them once, at The Generator in Toronto) or really think that much of it in general, because it's not on any of their live stuff or greatest hits records. Anyways it got me into them, and I've been a fan ever since, especially this record.
I'm glad this album was my first taste of Overkill, because to be honest I'm not a huge fan of their earlier stuff, with Blitz's high-pitched, 80's hair band-sounding vocals. "Horrorscope" on the other hand, sees him employ a much grittier, guttural sounding voice. I like it. Notable stand-outs on this dics are "Coma", which rips your head off at the very start of the disc. "Horrorscope" is a good showcase for Blitz's outstanding vocal abilities, and is just a cool, evil-sounding song. Then there is the middle-of-the-road Edgar Winter cover "Frankenstein", which I guess is OK but not truly brilliant. The last two, "Nice Day...For a Funeral" and "Solitude" come off quite well, with a metal-ballad-type style without sounding cheesy, which 95% of all metal ballads suffer from. And then my favorite "Thanx for Nothing", which just rocks with cool riffs, really makes you want to bang your head. The other songs are straight-up thrash, which any fan of this type of music will enjoy.
My biggest issue with this disc is probably the drumming, which to me sounds very weak. I'm not a musician, so for me to notice it must be pretty bad. Thankfully, this was "Rat Skates" last album as Overkill's drummer.
One of my only problems with Overkill is the sometimes corny backing vocals. Sometimes a song can sounds really great at first, only to be ruined by some ridiculous chant coming from D.D. Verni or someone in the background. Thankfully there isn't too much of it here, although their later records suffer from it way too much.
Anyways overall a good buy.
By the way, these guys rock live. When I saw them in Toronto, it was in a tiny club, but it was one of the best shows I've ever been to, even though my ears were ringing for two days afterwards. Check out their latest, "Wrecking Everything Live" for a taste.