Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Speed\Kill/Hate, "Out for Blood"

I missed the 2005 debut from Speed\Kill/Hate, side project of Overkill guitarist Dave Linsk, but I just might have to go back and check it out after hearing their latest effort, Out for Blood.

The 2011 lineup of the band is completely different from the 2005 version, which also featured a couple of other Overkill members. Linsk is the only remaining member from that roster, joined here by vocalist Bob Barnak, former Ripping Corpse bassist Dave Bizzigotti and former Sindrome drummer Tony Ochoa.

I went into the record expecting it to have a definite Overkill flavor, and there are moments of that in songs like “Breeding Hate” or “Written in Blood” which wouldn’t be at all out of place on a release by Linsk’s other band, musically at least (Barnak’s hardcore roars are another matter).
But the record is more raw and aggressive than Overkill, with some elements of hardcore and an overall more modern thrash sound.

The record blasts out of the gate with opener “No Remorse,” one of the heaviest tracks here. Barnak gives the song a harder edge with his hardcore vocal delivery, and the song pounds the listener over the head. The other fast numbers on Out for Blood are a mixed bag. “Brotherhood of Arms” is unrelenting, but lacks much of interest to hook the record. The death metal influenced album closer “The Cleansing” begins with a barrage of blast beats from Ochoa and distorted snarls from Barnak that are kind of plain, but recovers with a memorable chorus.

The more interesting pieces on the record, though are the mid-tempo tunes. “Behind the Mask” has more of a slow slab guitar riff and feels more retro than anything else on the record. “Mark of Judas” has one of the more interesting guitar riffs on Out for Blood, and will likely remind listeners of Lamb of God’s more recent work, as will “Deceiver.”

Like most of the members of the current thrash movement, Speed\Kill/Hate doesn’t really break any new ground. They take the base of Overkill’s East Coast style, smear a little hardcore rage on top of it, and turn out a pretty tasty chunk of thrash. It’s not likely to join the pantheon of my favorite thrash albums like the last offering from Linsk’s main band, Ironbound, but I’ll definitely be returning to it quite a bit in the coming months.

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