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Overcast: Fight Ambition To Kill

Devilcore - a new style that has emerged over the period of the last year or so. Basically, it's a logical continuation of the crossover process began by the bands like S.O.D. and Nuclear Assault back in the mid-80s when they started to integrate the elements of then hostile hardcore and heavy metal scenes. So these days we get the bands like Overcast playing a virtual fusion of death metal and an extremely heavy brand of hardcore spawned forth by the dark moods prevalent in the music of the late 90's. Their ultra-heavy assault on your senses is nothing short of being bludgeoned to bloody pulp with a jackhammer. Not necessarily concentrating on the speed picking aspects of metal, but rather sticking with its sludge like brand pioneered by Black Sabbath, Overcast creates a new type of a monster.

To find a close enough comparison is not so hard in the case of Overcast. Earth Crisis is a reasonable point of reference. However, songs like "Styrofoam Death Machine" show us that the band probably is just as much in love with Neurosis as they are with Death circa "Human". Again this album goes well beyond just being another exercise in using metallic guitars in the hardcore framework. Grinding like crazy and occasinally collapsing into jazzy interludes to then attack an unsuspecting listener with a crazed noise bit hidden in the upcoming wall of noise, Overcast show us that minimalism in punk rock may very well be forsaken in exchange for the added complexity and heaviness that they demonstrate with Fight Ambition To Kill.

Fortunately, this is not the kind of album that you can just carelessly submerge into so you'll go with a flow all the way to the end. For years I thought that Melvins-like lack of an obvious song structure can only be successfully integrated into death metal, that any riff salad album (like "None So Vile" by the almighty Cryptopsy) can be turned into an instant masterpiece by cleverly combining a breakneck speed and a few quirky arrangements. Well, as it turns out the same principle can also be applied to Devilcore, where by slowing down to a painful snail-like pace that seems to never get out of the sludge mode again, the band creates an absolutely killer mood that is then all but destroyed by a relentlessly fast riffing that is used every so often.

It's great to see that experimentation of bands like Soilent Green, Deadguy and Neurosis is finally getting some recognition and a rather strong following. It remained untouched for a considerable period of time after being introduced to an unsuspecting world. With bands like Overcast, Bloodlet and Coalesce releasing extremely powerful albums, we can be assured that we are to witness an emerging scene that may even rival traditional champions of heaviness like death metal and grindcore with their relentless assault on senses. Will it get even more extreme from there on? I'm sure it will, and that's what all this all about: extremity and ever evolving.

Added: January 1st 2004
Reviewer: SoT Archives
Hits: 2272
Language: english

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