How retro do you want your music? Are you longing for the eighties when you could bang your head on some decent heavy metal? Overdrive gives you the chance to re-live it all. You get pure and honest heavy metal with Angelmaker, the band's latest effort. This album deals with a variety of topics: from catholic priests and other vampires to psychopaths and warnings of our world's going down the drain. The title track tells the gruesome story of the Swedish angel makers, a group of women who 'took care' of illegitimate children by drowning them, suffocate them or starve them to death and being paid for their 'services'. The last angel maker was convicted in the twenties, yet the story is still shocking.
The band originally started somewhere in the eighties, but disbanded and re-formed with a new vocalist named Per Karlsson. The original vocalist left just before the reunited band wanted to perform some gigs. In 2008 the band released Let The Music Do The Talking, the first new album in 24 years! Early 2011 the successor Angelmaker was released. Was I wrong by stating that this is retro music? Well, yes and no. No, because this is the music the band have always made. They loved it from the beginning, so why call it retro if you've always made this kind of music? Yes, it's retro because it's been a long time since a real traditional heavy metal album was recorded. Most of the old school bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Metallica made some changes in their music - I'm not going to call it progression - while Overdrive stuck to their metal roots.
Beside singer Per Karlsson, Overdrive currently consist of the guitar twin duo Janne Stark and Kjell Jacobsson, bass player Kenth Ericsson and drummer Kenta Svensson. The album sounds like a good old metal album with a number of great songs. Signs All Over opens with powerful metal and double bass drums all over. I recognized influences from bands like Accept and Riot. Angelmaker is a high speed metal song with a powerful riff. I Know There's Something Going On should ring a bell somewhere. This is a cover of the Russ Ballard song recorded by ABBA's Frida in the eighties. I heard this cover earlier, but I can't recall which band it was. Under The Influence is an Iron Maiden-like, riff oriented fast metal rocker featuring some perfect harmony guitars. The Wavebreaker is an epic anthem that starts with a soft acoustic intro, growing into a heavy metal mayhem filled with twin guitars and ending where it started, the perfect final piece for the album.
Having listened to Angelmaker a couple of times, it surely brought back memories. I would have liked it very much if only I'd been younger. Now things have changed, I got a broader interest in music and I like to listen to new and challenging music. Some people say I've made some progression, but who cares. It leaves Overdrive as a blast from the past: very well-played traditional heavy metal rooted in the eighties.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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